Sunday, 26 August 2018

part 68 : An Arranged love Marriage



Nervousness like never before gripped her, though the anger was still constant, her palm moist with sweat as she stood out of his cabin getting ready to face him, her very own husband! Obviously after an eventful night, she had woken up to an empty cold bed with a throbbing head yet a comforting note on her side table asking her to have the lemon tea already set neatly for her. The worst of all was the blur memories, she remembered their ride home, the change of her dress, their terrace moments and also some of their *ahem-ahem* moments, but nothing was clear or in an order. The only thing crystal clear; was the fact that she had said and done a lot of embarrassing things and there was nothing to take back now. He was going to have a gala time using all of it to his advantage she could bet her life on it!



Though he had let her sleep in and not complained of her late arrival to the office, she knew he definitely was just waiting for an opportunity to strike. To her luck, he was away for most of the day for some meetings and she had been busy with the presentation and preparations for the same, but unfortunately her luck came with a limit. That limit ended around 5 in the evening as he walked back in the office. He had not even thrown her a glance while he walked past her, but Just a micro second pause in his feet and the slight smirk on his face, almost hard to notice before he continued on his way still looked deeply engrossed in his file was seen clearly by her. That gave away how he was all set to soon have a face-off with her. After a heart fluctuating half an hour, her desk phone rang which she only picked up after Rashi who had just walked in snapped her out of her daze as she just stared at the phone like it was some time bomb machine;
"My cabin in 5!
She placed the receiver down wondering what was with this guy and his ticking- bomb time limits. With shivery hands, after having spent the entire day thinking of ways to face him; she gripped the door knob and turned it taking in a deep breath. Armaan was in the middle of giving some notes to his PA when the door slowly swung open and she stepped in. Both the heads turned to her but she looked everywhere but him. A soft smile instantly lit up on his face and he simply instructed her to take a seat as he continued his discussion with Shriya (his P.A) while Riddhima stood in the seat right across him fiddling with her fingers;
"End mein just put up a note as per our format and...  yeah I guess that's about it. Convert it into a proper constructed draft and forward it to me first thing in the morning, abhi ke liye you can take a leave for the day.

"Sure, thanks Sir.
As Shriya walked out of the cabin he sighed and sat back stretching out his legs comfortably. Back to back meetings and his tight schedule kept him busy and away but he had been waiting for this moment and finally it had arrived. He just looked up at her and kept observing her for another few minutes with pin drop silence in the cabin. Riddhima made no efforts to start any conversation but was well aware of his constant gaze on her every little move. When he did not yet speak up she finally decided to break the ice;
"*Clearing throat* aa---- aapko kuch kaam tha muj--hse?

"Hmm... that depends!

"Jee??

"Haan... Depends on who you are here as... Just Mrs. Mallik, or Mrs. ArmaanMallik.

"Mrs. Mallik... si--rf Mrs.Mallik!

Armaan bit back a chuckle at her nervousness, but mentally appreciated her for the brave faade she put up.
"Kyu... Main bina kaam ke bula nahi sakta? Vaise bhi... aapke jaane ka waqt ho gaya hai, your working hours are over so -----
Even before he completed she instantly sprang up;
"Thanks... I'll take your leave then!

Taking a deep breath she had just turned on her heels to be stopped dead in her tracks;
"I don't think I asked you to leave yet though... Riddhima!
Cursing under her breath she stood still as he made his way to her and was right in front in a minute;
"Main subah se bohot soch raha tha, ki tumse baat karu... After all kal raat-----
Though she had still managed to hide her gaze, his straight to the point declaration widened her eyes and she realized she wasn't ready to face him yet. Not able to take the stress anymore she decided to sneak out to be pulled back instantly;
"Uh uh... arey arey ruko itni bhi kya jaldi hai wifey!
He kept walking towards her while she stepped away till she was cornered with his desk and left with nowhere to go.
"Aap--- aap kya kar rahe hai?

He rested his hands on either sides of her on the desk, locking her completely and bent down to her level as she still kept looking down;
"Tumhe pata hai kal...

"Mu---- jhe koi baat nahi karni---- mujhe ghar jaana hai.

"Baat toh karni hi padegi, usse pehle tum cabin se bahar toh ja nahi sakti!
He still tried to make her look up but she was pretty adamant and successful at avoiding him.
"Ye---- ye harassment hai, aap kisi em---ployee ko aise---- jabardasti...

"Hmm baat toh sahi hai! You want to talk about harassment!? Ok... Let's do that.
Having said that he instantly lifted her and placed her up on the desk earning an instant gasp;
 "Do you have any idea tumne kal mujhe kitnaaa harass kiya; par maine kuch kaha?? In fact tumne aur bhi bohot kuch kiya... I guess kuch kuch you must have forgotten. Par koi baat nahi, main yaad di----
He purposely probed her while his hand tucked her strand and his finger trailed a lazy path down her neck taking a halt near her chest as his hot breath caressed her earlobe as he spoke. His words, his fingers playing against her skin and the proximity were too much to deal with so she finally snapped and pushed at his chest started rambling on;
"Ok bas... enough! Mujhe kuch nahi jaanna, main maanti hu shayad maine kuch jyada bol diya ho kal, par mera ghussa jayaaz tha. Aap achi tarah se is sabki vajah jaante the fir bhi mujhe attitude dikha rahe the, mujhe avoid kar rahe the yaha tak ki meri taraf dekh bhi nahi rahe the. Mujhe chodke aapke paas party mein sabse baat karne ke liye time tha. Main toh vaha jana bhi nahi chahti thi, I had just tagged along with you, aur fir pehle ye trip se main khaas khush nahi hu. Lekin nahi aapko humesha ki tarah na kisi cheej ki padi hi nahi thi bas akad dikhani thi. Aap vohi baat pyaar se bhi samjha hi sakte hai na jo bhi soch rahe ho, lekin nahi uske liye pyaar hona bhi toh chahiye na, bas ghussa chadha rehta hai humesha sir pe toh fir is baar bas main bhi ghussa ho gayi aur-----

"Tum kitnaaa nonstop bol rahi ho!!
A wide eyed and open mouth Armaan finally interrupted her in a surprised tone at her shatabdi speed as she was all worked up. The nervousness had got better of her and as he had trapped her completely, she simply exploded with every other complaint she could think of.
"Toh fir aap---- main... Bas...

He smiled at her startled face and innocent eyes as she finally looked up with stuttering words;
"Ghussa toh main bhi hota hu, par main toh kabhi aise haath nahi chalata, tumhare baal nahi nochta!
He claimed with a raised brow challenging her to which she fumbled knowing she was at a dead end but still made efforts for some loop hole;
"Haan vo... lekin; aap---- haaan ...
Instantly it clicked as she looked around thinking and spoke up firm this time,
"Aap chilaate hai mujh pe aur... aur haan ---- aapki vajah se bhi toh chot lagi thi mujhe, aapne bhi toh ghusse mein mera haath pakda tha kal, uska nishaan bhi hai ab tak. Dekhiyee... Uska kya!?
She asked with a determined look happy to have made a point but her victory wasn't long-lived as he nodded but continued;
"Haan maine bohot galat kiya I know... par phir maine turant maafi bhi toh maangi na when I realized it. But you don't even look guilty of what you did, so how fair are we being here?

"Well... main... I am----

"No, now its too late to apologize Riddhima. Besides I doubt you even remember everything you did!
She once again diverted her gaze and looked all around but him;
"Seee... is liye harjana toh tumhe bhaarna hi padega! Aur rahi baat nishaaniyon ki, toh what about all the marks you left on me?... It should be made even, don't you think!?

"Ky----- ... kya matlab? Ye aap kya---- *gasp*
Her eyes grew to their full size as he leaned down closer letting their noses brush and held her waist;
"You have no idea how dangerous you get when you get drunk, do you? Mujhe itna nihatta kabhi kisi ne nahi kiya, jitna kal tumne mehsoos karvaya hai.
Last night suddenly flashed in front of her eyes, just some unclear instances reminding her of how hard poor guy really tried to stay in line, bringing a slight tinge to her cheeks and a small smile with a hitch in her breath as he erased the distance between them.
"Acha, ab tumhe hasi aa rahi hai mujh pe...?
Riddhima instantly shook her head biting her cheek to hold her smile but it was already too late;
"That's just so mean you know!...
He instantly held her nape and pulled her closer wiping every ounce of smile from her face;
"*Gasp* Armaan... hum office mein hai!!
She made a futile attempt placing her palm against his chest to maintain some distance, though his hot breath was playing havoc with her senses;
"Toh?...

Riddhima shrieked and shook her head violently as his hand trailed up and unpinned her hair;
"Nahi Armaan... Koi dekhega t--- ughh...
All her retorts dissolved right away unknowingly, as he took her earlobe between his teeth and began his slow torture. They were right in front of the door and though his tall figure completely blocked her view, she had an idea if anybody entered it wasn't a very decent sight to meet. Though his door was just one way see through from inside, it still left her apprehensive. But the tighter his grip grew, sooner her thoughts were lost. The burning passion in his eyes had been evident and she knew she was completely responsible. Not every memory was clear, but she did remember he had definitely given him a hard time and tested his patience in every damn way that she could. It was just a payback she concluded and she had no complaints. A loud gasp escaped her lips as he covered all the distance between them as he stood between her legs, completely jamming her body with his and dug his face deep in her neck.
"Arma---an sach... mein koi aa ... jayega.
Riddhima somehow tried to make him see through in between his hot assault against her neckline.

"Mere cabin mein meri marzi ke begair koi nahi aata!

"Ca---- camera?
He simply shook his head not even bothered to reply anymore as he had gotten the access to his room's camera changed to himself;
"Lekin-----

"Shut up Riddhima...
He slightly bit her collar bone getting an instant response but also did she push him away;
"Ughh... Nahi na Armaan mat keejiye please, nishaan reh jaayega-----

She muttered between hard breaths but he instantly held her hand placing it back around him not letting her create any barrier;
"You should have thought of it before giving me all those scratch marks.
She opened her mouth to retort but she couldn't manage to utter even a word as her face turned deepest shade of red and she literally turned into a puddle; melting at his complaint unable to say or do anything much. Smiling at her defeated self he descended to her neck once again and devoured her skin, his fingers lazily but expertly worked on the top two buttons of her kurta while she remained unaware of anything anymore too dazed by his passion. Creating a better access he let his lips roam all over, kissing, nibbling and biting; making sure it was covered with innumerable and prominent marks... he loved to see her skin painted with his marks and he was sure however she might not voice it, she did too!

Within minutes she was completely under his spell, a smile making way on his lips as she tugged at his lapel pulling him closer unknown to herself while her other hand fisting onto his hair as he dug deeper in her neck. It took no time for his hand to invade her kurta and his jacket laid carelessly on the desk next to her with his tie and hair messed up, his buttons almost halfway undone. Somewhere back in her mind she knew they must stop, but his soft caresses and the nibbles against her neck rendered her disarmed, too weak to think straight. Lost in the heated moment, his hands moved up to her back out of habit unbothered of the place and time, but before he could snap the hook open she was brought back to the world and stilled in his hold. Hastily; she held his arms and pushed them getting down his desk with a stumble. Armaan was startled and quite unhappy for a moment but was out of his daze by her move as she stood panting and cheeks completely flushed.

Getting a hold on his emotions he finally composed himself and settled her back on the desk. Though she tried to retort, he made sure to keep her in place as he spoke;
"Calm down jungli billi! Bina vajah itna kudo mat, bas baat hi kar raha hu, sunlo ek baar. About this whole Dubai project thing, I really need to talk to you.
That almost immediately quietened her and she looked up as if awaiting him to continue making him chuckle at her cute curious face;
"Don't look at me like that, varna main bhul jaunga ki kuch baat bhi karni hai!
Riddhima lightly pushed him away at his comment but stayed seated and he decided to finally blurt it;
"Mr. Zacharia ne Shelby pe bohot mehnat ki hai Riddhima. Now if we give them a new team with fresh and young candidates like you, they would want to continue with you, however experienced Mr. Zacharia might have been would not matter then. Aur main unhe blame nahi karta cuz these days everybody is looking for young minds with fresh ideas, just a need of time let's say. We know, agar Zachahria is project par rahe toh he will take the whole project to wonderful heights, par in case vo agli baar demand karte hai to have you guys to continue as team; we will not be able to help it. And I would be glad if you find an opportunity like that no doubt, par ye tum bhi samajh sakti ho that you will get many more opportunities like this in future Riddhima. Unke saamne aisi jyada opportunites ab rehna mushkil hai, irrespective of how talented a person is, age does matter. And then again this project is in contract for about 5-7 years with them currently, so I want him to lead it atleast in the beginning, later we can maybe shuffle the teams after renewal of contract if at all hopefully. Par ye unke dream project jaisa hai, and he most probably has plans of retiring sooner than needed. Is liye main chahta hu ki unka is project mein involvement ho at this initial stage.

"Trust me, that's the only reason I insisted for you to be a part of the other project instead.

Riddhima sighed and poked his chest looking up with a pout;
"Dekha... yahi problem hai aapki. Itni si baat thi toh pehle bata dete na. Though I hope iska kuch aur solution hota, par aap jaante hai I would always respect your decision, I would always trust your decision. Vo toh bas mujhe laga aap naaraj hai is liye---- *sigh* par agar aisi hi baat hai toh theek hai.

"Ab toh naaraj nahi ho? You are willing to go ahead right?
He asked with a hope in his eyes as he gently caressed her hand that was in his hold;
"Of course Armaan, even if this wasn't clear, as a part of profession main phir bhi aapka decision maan hi leti ye aap bhi jaante hai. Par ab jab mujhe sach pata hai toh mana karne ki vajah hi nahi banti.
She got off the desk shaking her head at him;
"Par aap bhi na... Itni safai kisne maangi thi, bas keh dete ki aap naaraj nahi hai aur vakai mein mujhe professional reasons se bhejna chahte hai, main maan jaati.

Armaan's jaw dropped at her accusation and he instantly snapped;
"I told you so... You did not believe me!

"Haan toh aap itna ghussa kar rahe the mujh pe toh main kaise yakeen karu aap jaan bujhke aisa nahi kar rahe, yahi baat pyaar se kehkar dekhte ek baar, main koi sawal hi nahi karti aapse. Par janaab kal itne ghusse mein pagal the ki koi kya samjhaye? Bina vajah itna pareshaan karke rakh diya mujhe, ghusse mein maine itni saari pi li aur ek naya sardard bhi paal liya subah subah.
He couldn't help smile as she looked up with an accusatory pout while she decided to walk away, but he knew they had a very important impending matter yet at hand which he had no intentions of leaving undiscussed.

Grabbing her arm he pulled her back looking straight at her;
"Wait a minute, jo hua so hua but I don't ever want a repeat of what happened-----

Riddhima cut short his warning by finishing his words herself with an embarrassed face;
"I know... I am sorry, I know I must have embarrassed you being drunk. I don't even wish to-----

Armaan frowned and shook his head;
"No, I wasn't talking about that baby. You are your own person Riddhima, I don't mind if you wish to have a drink or two or even if you feel like getting wasted someday. And irrespective of what you think, I have no intentions of controlling you or your life! You are free to decide that for yourself, though make sure I am aware of it cuz well... Let's just say nobody would be able to handle that crazy drunk wild girl other than me. Not that I had want them to either!

Riddhima pouted though stifling a laugh at his words but he pulled her closer continuing in a serious voice locking her gaze;
"Though that is not what I wanted to talk about. I am talking about the other night. When you went missing for hours... AGAIN!

"Ar----
Even before she could utter a word he shushed her and his grip grew painfully tight against her arm and she could see his face held no humor anymore;
"Shhh!! Don't say anything, just listen and listen very well because I am not going to repeat! Let's be crystal clear about this Riddhima... I DO NOT EVER want a repeat of that night. Whatever reasons you had, however important, I wouldn't care Riddhima. Maine tumhe maaf jaroor kar diya, I can't stay mad at you anyway and you know that. Par tum is baat ka faayda nahi utha sakti har baar. I forgive you but I can never forget what I had to go through for that few hours that seemed like years.

Next time you keep atleast someone informed if you are not going to make it home any soon. Somebody around me MUST have an idea and confirm it with me that you are safe and sound, then I wouldn't care if you even have a journey around the world and be back. Just because I go easy on you, don't think I will let you get away every time with anything. Peechli baar maine baat badhne nahi di thi, I let it go this once again, but next time that this happens ... you won't like the outcome then. I am a horrible person when I am at my worst Riddhima. I love you too much to let you know that, main bohot bohooot chahta hu tumhe, is liye tum exception rahi ho ab tak. You have only known an ounce of what I can be when I get mad, and it would be great if it stays that way.
Riddhima gulped as his hoarse voice kept getting dangerously low while he stared square in her eye throughout making it difficult for her to even breathe. But she gasped; her breath hitched as he pulled her up swiftly holding her jaw still with a stoic face and dark eyes that she had never witnessed before.

"Trust me darling you won't like to be on the receiving end EVER; and see what I can be like when I get really reallly mad. Is liye dubara kabhi aise koi stunts karne ki koshish bhi mat karna. I am not warning you, I am clearly declaring it... Agli baar I won't care how much I love you. I will MAKE you regret your deed, even if it means not letting you out of my sight for a minute there after, I wouldn't care! Trust me I am very much capable of doing that and much more. Uske baad tum zindagi bhar mujhse nafrat karo, I still wouldn't care, all I care about is ensuring that you are safe! Main tumhe kaid karke toh nahi rakhna chahta, par agar tum apni laparvahi se baaz nahi aaogi aur khud ko aise hi situations mein daalti rahogi then you will leave me with no more choices. But I hope you won't give me that chance... Sooo... *sigh* you get it right?!
Riddhima stared at him dumbfounded, completely speechless as he finished speaking. Shock would be an understatement to describe what she felt. The way he spoke and looked at her; stumped her. So much that she lost her vocal chords. His eyes held a dark look, a dark promise which she did not wish to unravel ever. She was least interested in knowing the outcome of "if ever again..., heck she did not even wish to see that look ever again in his eyes. But she was snapped out of her shock when he repeated a bit louder;
"Are we clear Riddhima?

"Huh??
He simply raised a brow staring meaningfully at her and she cleared her throat still baffled;
"Armaan? Aap-----

"I want you to answer Riddhima!... Is that clear?
Armaan repeated in a no nonsense tone when she finally nodded;
"Hmm... Jee!
She managed a meek reply and he finally smiled. She was surprised as the next moment he held her chin between his thumb and index finger and pecked her lips soft yet firm. She felt so lost... It felt like he crashed a bucket of cold water on her finally only after he had first lit her up on fire. Yes... that's exactly what it felt like. However soothing the kiss felt, the look he held, the warning his gaze held, she could never erase it from her memory, it was going to be imprinted in her mind forever, and somehow she knew that was exactly what he wished to do and boy was he successful!

She was startled as he snapped in her face to bring her out of her revive:
"Kya? Kaha kho gayi?

"Huh... vo---
She replied still dazed, trying to read his face when he smiled lightly bending down to her level to have her look straight at him as he asked in a soft voice;
"You are terribly scared of me right now, aren't you?

"Main-----
She just gulped not knowing any appropriate reply to that looking around unsure of what he expected her to say. But he wasn't ready to take her silence, he gently cupped her cheek leaving her with no choice but to look up at him;
"I am sorry for acting impulsively yesterday, par tum jaanti ho na ki main kabhi apne ghusse ko mere pyaar ya khud pe itna haavi nahi hone dunga that I physically hurt you on purpose?

"Haan Armaan, of course I trust you on that.
Ridhima replied without a second's delay because she definitely trusted him enough about it. The fact stayed that he had hurt her just a day ago as he quite regretfully mentioned, but she knew it meant nothing and that it was just an unconscious-impulsive move with no harsh intentions. He must have definitely been too disturbed with the incident to have cornered her and warned her about this. Though she was taken aback by his bipolar act, she could still read the care he held behind every word he uttered so she did not argue.
"Toh fir tum mujhse dar kyu rahi ho?

"Nahi bas... aapko kabhi aise dekha nahi! You have never been like this with me before except----

"Except for the first time you had gone missing?
He instantly finished the statement for her to which she just dropped her gaze again;
"You just warned me off with a look that could almost freeze a person to death Armaan! What do you expect?

Armaan pulled her close planting a lingering kiss against her head as an assurance that he was still her very own Armaan;
"Main nahi chahta ki tumhe mujhse kisi bhi baat ka dar rahe. I would never want that, but I just don't want you to take my words for granted; and for you to realize, how it terrifies and leaves me completely helpless to even think of you in some trouble. I cannot take it jab tum firse vohi cheej dohrao jab ki tum jaanti ho how desperately I was trying to know of you the last time,  kis tarah un chand ghanto ne mujhe lachaar bana diya tha. I did told you before too, You can be as careless, carefree and stubborn with me as you wish... tum jitney chaho tantrums dikhao mujhe, jo marzi ho karo apni life mein at my expense, I won't utter a single complaint. But I won't tolerate your unreasonable behavior while you put your safety at stake. It's not something I'll ever allow you of. There is no reason to be scared of me samjhi? All I want is for you to take care, if you can't do that for yourself, then you will have to do it for me. Hmm?

There it was as she looked back up in his eyes, the love and care back in his eyes and he was back to the Armaan she knew, her loving husband, her life. He caressed her cheek and she tried to read his eyes which conveyed how he meant each word he had uttered. He tapped her nose as she smiled a heartfelt smile, pulling her into a big warm hug letting go of all worries and tiffs, and she happily snuggled into his arms. While she felt back home knowing the depth of his love and care for her he thought to himself;
"Tum shayad apni keemat nahi jaanti meri zindagi mein kya hai! Jaroorat padi toh tumhe mujhse khaafa toh dekh sakta hu, lekin tumhe kisi tarah ke dard ya takleef mein bardaash nahi kar paunga. Nahi jaanta ki ye achi baat hai ya nahi, par tumhari har dhadkan se meri saans jud chuki hai. Jaroorat se jyaada jaroori ban chuki ho tum mere liye. Tumhare upar ek aanch bhi bardaash nahi hoti ab, bas tumhe humesha sahi salamat aur khush rakhna chahta hu...I hope kisi din tum mujhe samajh paao!

With a sigh he calmed his raging heart from all the whirlwind of emotions and decided to lighten the atmosphere and so her chain of thoughts was cut by him soon;
"Acha chalo, itna serious hone ki bhi koi jarurat nahi ab... main bhi free ho chuka hu, toh main soch raha tha kahi bahar chalte hai dinner ke liye. It's been long we haven't been out, just the two of us. Hmm what say, chalogi?


--------------Continued in the next post---------------

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