Sunday, 29 July 2018

Chapter 65 : I'll Love You Longer Than Forever - AR FF

Previously On...

Riddhima tells Sonia off.

Armaan and Rahul bonding.

Armaan being awkward with Neha.

Thoda sa AR cuteness + fluff. <3

Chapter 65

Armaan spent most of his time talking to Rakesh. They were talking about how their lives had changed since college. Armaan was really happy when he found out that Rakesh had started his own wedding planning business and that it was doing well. Rakesh had been a scholarship kid at college and he'd worked his ass off to provide for his family. Armaan had always admired that about him. How driven and focused he'd been. Really, it was only because of Rakesh that Armaan able to pass college. He'd make sure that Armaan studied for his tests and turned his assignments in.

 "Waise, tere business ka naam kya hai? Next time kabhi mujhe kisiki shaadi organize karni hogi toh main tujhe hi bulaunga, Armaan insisted.

 Rakesh laughed. "Thanks, yaar. It's called Il Matrimonio. We have a website and everything, he explained.

 "Nice, Armaan answered. "Aur, bas professional life mein hi itna achcha hai ya fir personal life bhi aage badhi hai? He asked cheekily.

Rakesh blushed. "Oyye hoyye, Armaan teased. "Gaal toh dekho janaab ke. Tamaatar jaise laal ho gaye hain.

"Hmmm... Baat kya hai? Rahul asked. He'd been silently listening to their discussion along with Rohit and Abhi. Rakesh had been a good friend to him too. Sure, they'd never interacted much, but his and Rakesh's friendship had been different. They didn't talk everyday or know everything about the other, but they knew things that mattered most. And there was an assurance that should one of them be in trouble, the other would always be there, no questions asked.

"Rahul, yaar, tu bhi? Rakesh whined.

"Main bhi kya? Saale, inte saalon baad tu haath aaya, aise hi tjodi chodunga? Rahul joked.

"Fine, fine. I'm married, he announced.

"Wow! Toh, kahaan hai woh? Aayi kyu nahi? Armaan asked, eager to meet Rakesh's wife.

"Uh, actually, Kunal, my son, he's ill. Toh Aesha uske saath ghar pe hai, he explained, blushing really bad.

"Tera beta bhi hai? Rahul asked, surprised.

Rakesh nodded. "3 saal ka hai.

"Waah, waah, mere sher, Armaan praised, putting an arm around his shoulder. "Hum sabko dekho, he said, gesturing to himself and Rahul, "abhi tak shaadi bhi nahi hui. Lekin in sir ke toh bachche bhi ho gaye!

"Armaan! Rakesh admonished, embarrassed.

"What? Achchi baat hai yaar. Tu isme itna sharma kyu raha hai? Armaan asked.

"Tu meri chod, yeh Rahul bhi chupa rustam hai, Rakesh said, trying to divert the topic.

"Main? Rahul asked, surprised. "Aisa kya kiya maine?

"Woh, tere saath aayi haina, Rakesh started, pausing, trying to remember the name of Rahul's date.

"Riddhima, Armaan promptly supplied.

"Haan, wohi. Riddhima. Keh rahi thi ki tu kisi ladki se bohot pyaar karta hai. Kaun hai woh? Rakesh asked.

"Wait, Riddhima ne kya kaha? Rahul questioned, shocked. He couldn't believe Riddhima had just said that to a bunch of strangers.

"Arre, woh Sonia haina. Woh bohot bol rahi thi - how she wanted to date you and stuff. Toh Riddhima ne kaha ki tu already kisi se pyaar karta hai, Rakesh explained. "Aisa sach mein hai ya fir usne sirf Sonia ko kaha? He asked.

Rahul sighed. "Hai koi, he replied, glancing at Muskaan. "Lekin abhi mujhse naraaz hai. I hope ki main usse jaldi manaa lu.

Rakesh smiled and hugged him. "I'm sure sab theek ho jaayega. Rahul nodded his thanks.

"Aur, Armaan, Rakesh said, turning to him. "Tu bhi toh bata. Teri life mein koi aayi ya abhi bhi 4 ladkiyon ke saath ghoomta hai? He asked.

Rahul guffawed on hearing this. Chaar toh kya, ek ghoomane ki capacity bhi nahi rahi usme, he thought to himself.

"Tujhe badi hasi aa rahi hai, Armaan glared at Rahul.

"Haan, kyu? Tujhe koi problem? Rahul argued.

"Haan. Mat has. Bohot hi ghatiya hasi hai teri, Armaan answered.

"Abbe, chal hat, Rahul dismissed. "Meri hasi, mera mann. Tujhe koi problem hai toh tu kahin aur chala jaa.

Armaan started to say something, but was cut off by Rakesh. "Guys, yeh sab chodo. Armaan, tu bata, he instructed.

"K... Kya batana hai? He asked, trying to buy time.

"Arre, yehi. Koi achchi ladki mili kya tujhe? Rakesh asked.

Armaan looked at him and nodded. He turned to Riddhima and smiled dreamily. "Woh dekh, he told Rakesh, pointing towards her. She was talking to Disha animatedly about something. Armaan looked at her and sighed. How could someone be so beautiful all the time?

Rakesh laughed. "Main iski baat nahi kar raha, he said. "Haan, Riddhima achchi ladki hai, I think. But main pooch raha hu ki tujhe koi aisi mili kya jiske saath tu settle ho jaaye? He asked.

"Main toh abhi bhi settled hi hu, Armaan replied. "Achcha ghar, good job, amazing friends. Aur kya chahiye?

Rakesh shook his head. "Wife? He prompted.

"Oh, shaadi? Armaan asked. "Kyu, apna business badhaane ki koshish kar raha hai? He joked.

"Armaan! Rakesh scolded. "Seriously, yaar. Tu kabhi nahi badlega. Chod, rehne de. Tujhse toh poochna hi bekaar hai.

Armaan laughed. Topic successfully averted.

"Good one, Armaan, Rahul commented, his voice laced with innuendo.

"Thank you, Raool, Armaan replied, smirking.

Rakesh smiled at their interaction. "Tum dono ko ek doosre se achche se baat karte hue dekhke mujhe bada achcha lag raha hai, he said.

Armaan and Rahul looked at him questioningly.

"Arre, college ke dinon mein tum dono ki kabhi nahi banti thi na. Isliye, Rakesh explained.

Armaan laughed. "Oh, that way. Haan, he's okay, he waved dismissively at Rahul.

"Waah, itni tareef? Rahul commented sarcastically. "Kahin se tareef ke bojh tale main marr na jau!

"Haha, Armaan replied. "Waise, Muskaan bohot pretty lag rahi haina? He asked conversationally.

Rahul glared at Armaan. "What? Main bas keh raha hu, ki pretty lag rahi hai. Agar koi usse dance ke liye pooche toh? I mean, koi bhi pooch sakta hai. Kaun nahi chaahega itni beautiful ladki ke saath dance karna? He asked.

"Hmmm... Baat toh teri sahi hai, Rakesh said. "Waise bhi, tu hamesha hi aisi beautiful ladkiyon ke saath hi ghoomta hai.

"Woh toh hai. Armaan ke saath hai toh beautiful toh hogi hi na, Armaan laughed. "Toh... Agar koi uske saath dance karna chaahe toh I mean... Mujhe koi problem nahi hai.

Rahul was glaring at Armaan so hard that if looks could kill, Armaan would have died 10 times already.

"Shut up, Armaan! He scolded.

"Fine, Armaan replied, raising his hands in surrender. "Main toh bas keh raha tha. Waise, mera toh set hai. Riddhima ke saath hi dance karne wala hu main, He told the men surrounding him.

"Uh, I don't know, Rohit said. "Woh waise toh bohot achchi hai, lekin I don't think so. Usne mujhe bhi manaa kiya tha. He hadn't participated in the discussion so far, but he wouldn't miss a chance to take Armaan down a notch or two. He'd never liked how easy everything had been in Armaan for college. And seeing Riddhima make him work for it had made him happy.

Armaan turned to Rahul. Rahul smirked. "Aaj toh dekh lete hai. Armaan Mallik ka charm kitna chalta hai.

"Dekh lete hai, Armaan replied confidently.

He walked to where Riddhima was standing and forwarded his hand. "Dance? He asked her when he had her attention.

"Me? Riddhima asked, surprised. Armaan nodded.

"No, thanks, Riddhima replied, turning back to her previous conversation. Armaan was shocked. He looked back to see the boys smirking at him. This was not done. How could she just brush him off like this?

Determined, he fell to his knees beside her and hugged her around her legs. "Riddhima, bas ek dance. Please! He exclaimed. Riddhima looked at him, surprised. She tried untangle his arms from around her legs, but his grip was too tight.

"Armaan, dekho, chodo mujhe, she warned him.

Armaan shook his head. "Jab tak tum mere saath dance nahi karogi, main nahi chodunga, he said.

"Armaan, sab dekh rahe hai. Please, chodo, she pleaded.

Armaan looked around and shrugged. So what if people were watching? "Dekhte hai toh dekhne do. Mujhe koi fark nahi padta, he said.

"Armaan, you're embarrassing me. Please, chodo, Riddhima begged.

"Nahi, nahi, nahi. Jab tak dance karne ke liye haan nahi bologi, main nahi chodunga, he repeated.

"Um, Riddhima. Chali jao. Yeh idiot toh hai hi besharam. Usse koi fark nahi padega, Nikki advised.

Riddhima sighed. "Okay, okay. Main tumhaare saath dance karungi, she finally agreed.

"Sach? Armaan asked, looking at her with a goofy grin.

"Haan. Sach, she replied.

"Thank you, Riddhima, Armaan said, hugging her tighter.

"Dekho, maine dance ke liye haan keh diya na, ab please mujhe chod do, she pleaded again.

Armaan immediately stood up, causing Riddhima to lose her footing, but before she could fall, a pair of arms surrounded her, breaking her fall.

Riddhima had her eyes closed, waiting for the thud, but was surprised when there was none. She slowly opened an eye to see Armaan towering over her, his arms wrapped around her waist protectively. He was looking at her with so much love in his eyes that Riddhima was unable to hold his gaze and she looked away, blushing a deep red.

"Uhm, Nikki and Muskaan cleared their throats, causing Armaan to come out of his BasketLand. He looked around to see people staring at him amusingly. He blushed and immediately let go off Riddhima, causing her to fall.

"Armaan! Riddhima screeched. "What the hell?!

"I'm sorry! Armaan cried when he saw what he'd done. "I didn't mean to. He immediately gave her his hand and helped her up.

"I'm sorry! Sab Nikki aur Muskaan ki fault hai. They startled me. I'm really sorry, he apologized again.

"Tumse... Tumse toh kuch expect karna hi bekaar hai. Duffer, idiot kahin ke. Uggghhh, saying so, she stomped her foot on his before leaving.

"Ouch! Armaan cried, standing on one foot. "Yaar, ab meri kya galti hai?

Rahul and Rakesh came to stand beside him, laughing. "Looks like ki Armaan Mallik ka charm har jagah nahi chalta, Rakesh teased.

"Haan, yaar. Armaan has become rusty, Rahul said, grinning.

"Haha, Armaan replied, his voice full of sarcasm. "Tum dono ka ho gaya?

"Nahi, nahi. Abhi toh bas shuru hua hai, Rahul told him.

"Excuse me, abhi raat baaki hai. Ek dance ke liye toh main manaa hi loonga, Armaan said confidently.

"Aaj toh lag gayi, 100 100 ki. Kaun kehta ki aaj Armaan Riddhima ke saath dance karega? Rakesh asked the group.

"Abbe, Rakesh. Thoda bada ho jaa. Ab hum college mein nahi hai, Jai scolded. Armaan was surprised that of all of them, he was the most mature.

"Yes, Jai sahi keh raha hai, Armaan agreed.

"Armaan, tu chup reh, Jai cut him off. Turning to Rakesh, he said, "Bada ho gaya hai ab. 100 ki nahi. Kamse kam 500 toh bannte hai.

Rakesh grinned. "Yeh bhi theek hai. 500 ki.

That was it then. Everyone started placing bets. Armaan couldn't believe it. These people were such assholes. Ugh.

"Morons, the lot of you! He screeched.

"Armaan, please! Jai exclaimed. "Let us have our moment. Pehli baar aisi ladki mili hai jo The Great Armaan Mallik ko bhi reject kar sakti hai. Tujhe pata nahi kitni badi baat hai.

"Jai, mujhe obviously pata hoga na, ki kitni badi baat hai. After all, as you said, The Great Armaan Mallik toh main hi hu, Armaan said sarcastically.

"Waise bhi, tum sab kamine paise haar jaaoge because Riddhima mere saath dance zaroor karegi, he announced, his voice full of conviction.

Neha looked heartbroken  at the declaration, as did Roshni. Both of them had wanted to snag Armaan's attention, but how were they to know, that all of Armaan's thoughts only surrounded the one girl who he was hopelessly in love with.

Roshni sighed, heartbroken. It really had been a pipe dream, thinking that Armaan would ever notice her. She'd liked him since college, but she'd never been able to muster enough courage to tell him how she felt. She'd been determined to tell him now. And, there was a world of difference between the Roshni who was an unsure, bumbling teenager and the Roshni she was now - successful, hardworking, confident and charming. But, somehow, Armaan made her feel like a giddy teenager all over again. All these years, and she still wasn't able to tell him how much she liked him.

Neha, on the other hand, was even more determined after seeing Armaan so mesmerised by Riddhima. She knew that she was so much more beautiful than her and that it would be easy to seduce Armaan to be with her. Sure, Riddhima was good looking, but she had an air of innocence around her and Neha knew she wouldn't be able to hold Armaan's interest for long. Armaan wouldn't ever be happy with a plain vanilla kind of girl that Riddhima seemed to be - sweet and understanding, but stubborn nonetheless. Sexy, spontaneous and bold was more Armaan's type. All the qualities that she had, but she was sure Riddhima was lacking. Riddhima's presence did put a glitch in her plans, but Neha very well understood how to deal with such riffraff. By the end of the night, Armaan Mallik would be hers, she vowed to herself.


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