Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Part 11 : How to Kill your Husband

Riddhima stretched her arms and yawned loudly. She felt armaan stir next to her, his hand loosely tucked around her waist. She turned around to face him in the bed. He looked so innocent and calm, just like an ocean before the storm. Her fingers found his face bfore she could think, tracing along his strong jaw, curving over his soft yet manly lips. His eyes were closed, so probably he was still sleeping. Before she could stop herself, her lips took over her fingers and she lightly pecked his lips.

"Meri izzat looti jaa rahi hai kya?"

Riddhima recoiled on the spot. He was awake! She was about to increase the distance between them when Armaan held her waist and pulled her closer to him nuzzling his nose with her.



"Armaan..." riddhima said sighing. "You were awake." It was more of a statement than a question.

Armaan smiled and bent his head down to capture her lips. She suddenly moved back. "Morning breath." She said meekly and armaan grinned.

"You don't have and anyways no one is perfect." Saying that he did his good deed of the day. Taking riddhima into a slow drugging good morning kiss which had the power and force to wake up a dead as well.

Coming out of the kiss both stared at each other and riddhima winked at him. Surprised by her sudden antic they both started laughing as they slept on their backs facing the ceiling and holding hands.

"I'll make breakfast today." Riddhima said surprising herself as well as armaan.

"I am sorry network problem, what did you just say?" armaan sat up and pulled riddhima up as well.

Riddhima rolled her eyes. "I said I'm making breakfast today. Is it that hard to believe?"

"Are you asking yourself or me?" armaan asked with an intense gaze. Riddhima avoided his eyes as she got off the bed and slipped on her thin satin robe.

"I'll make coffee and cheese toast for myself and coffee and burnt toast for you. Is that okay?" she asked sweetly while batting her lashes. Armaan rolled on to his stomach and murmured.

"Everything's okay sweetheart as long as you follow the recipe and not mix anything...whats that word? Inappropriate in my food."

"Kal se khud apna breakfast bana lena. Huh bhalayi ka to zamana hi nahi raha." She wined indignantly and armaan smiled.

"Roz hi to breakfast mein banata hu darling and not just for me but for both of us." before he could finish, he felt a pillow smacking on his face and a bang of a door. "Man I could get used to this." He said dreamily.

After half an hour and 2 burnt toasts later both riddhima and armaan left for office in their individual cars. Both worked hard throughout the  day till lunchtime when armaan texted riddhima to come and meet him in the canteen.

"I need to return to London for work for a couple a days. Come with with." Armaan came straight to point.

Riddhima felt her jaw drop. "To London? But what about the office work? Whose going to take care of that? I owe Mr. Mallik a big favour for hiring me to this position. What will he say?"

Armaan smiled. "I happen to know he'd approve and beside you need a break. Take this trip as completing our honeymoon which got abruptly halted remember?"

"Honeymoon? As in real real honeymoon." Riddhima asked reluctantly. "Are you suggesting sex?" she cut to the chase and asked straightforwardly.

A grin spread through armaan's face. "I am suggesting a business honeymoon wifey. And I've got an invitation to attend a business party in London."

Second honeymoon. Business parties.

And his undivided attention.

An incredulous laugh bubbled up in the room. she was wearing a diamond ring in her left hand, sitting in Mallik Empires having lunch with the bachelor of the year who was now her husband! And his suggesting they go on their second honeymoon. It was moving so fast that it feels like she was being whisked on the top of a tower. "Mr. Super Confident."

"The only way to make things happen."

How was she going to keep up with him? "I don't have anything posh to wear in your up market London life. And didn't you say you have work there?"

"Not till day after tomorrow. And you'll look gorgeous, whatever you wear."

Oh yeah? He hadn't seen her wardrobe properly. "You're going to work on a Sunday?"

"I am afraid yes. That's the only day when everyone involved can make it." He said while taking a bite of his sandwich. "But you can shop, sightsee, spend the day at the apartment if you prefer. There's a spa with a great view of the city and plenty of bubbles."

She gave her naughty smile. "Soap or champagne?"

"Both if you prefer."

And oh, ah she did...

Just like last time, they didn't have to bother with queues and delays of the commercial flights. They boarded their mini private jet just in time.

Armaan fixed her drinks and started working on his laptop. She sighed delightfully as she saw the ice cream clouds passing through her window. After a while she started flicking through a couple of business magazine. On one the magazine's cover there was her's and Armaan's picture of their reception. She cringed at her picture. C'mon man armaan didn't look that bad but she? The headline said it all! "The UK bachelor finally ties the knot with a PINK haired bombshell".

"OHMYGOD!" she starts reading the article and swears at her 'Hot 'n' Sexy' husband who made her look like a 'Pink cotton candy' and a very bad example of bridal fashion on her reception says the magazine. "ARMAAAN!" the magazine went flying up to armaan and wacked him on to his head.

After that some insults were thrown around the plane, along with a spoon and 2 forks and finally a fuming riddhima and cursing armaan calmed down.

"Okay now let's call it quits shall we? See your hair's fine now. I brought a temporary dye which will wash off after a couple of days." Armaan finally say after sitting in front of her. "I was very considerate you know."

"Oh I guess I'll never be able to return your favour in this life time!" riddhima snapped sarcastically.

"You know you were right, bhalayi ko to zamana hi nahi raha. What would you have done if I'd have mixed permanent dye in your shampoo?"

"Shave your hair off and make sure that no vegetation would grow on your head in any near future!"

*******************************************************************

The limousine stopped in front of a tall round looking building. As they stepped out, she saw tourists lurking around taking pictures, youngsters enjoying a little booze on Saturday night. Her eyes shot upwards at the tall beautiful building. The lobby sparkled with lights and black granite. Riddhima has visited London before but she'd stayed in cheap accommodation but never in...this. "You owe an apartment in this building too? I thought your house was in west London?" she asked as they stepped into the elevator.

"Yes."

"How many places does one guy needs?"

He grinned as they shot upwards. "I look at them as investment and it beats impersonal and unfamiliar hotel rooms anyday."

The elevator door pings open and Armaan steps into the wide lobby opening the wide-panelled door. As he switched on the lights, riddhima was greeted with a huge hall with floor to ceiling windows giving her an extraordinary view of the London. There was a narrow line of Thames flowing calmly in the far corner next the London eye. As she scanned around, she saw Big Ben standing high and proud in the heart of London. The view was amazing!

"Like it?" he asked while standing next to her.

"It's beyond description." Riddhima said dazedly.

As she followed him around the apartment, she noticed vibrant summery colour interior decorations around the spacious apartment. Comfortable couches, latest electronic gadgets.

He stopped at the bedroom fixing their bags in the corner somewhere. Her heartbeat raised as she saw the king sized bed with dark chocolate colour quilt and cream pillows.

The reason she was here.

She could feel the sexual awareness but he said. "Feel free to make yourself home. We've got to attend a party tonight but before that I have to sort some business out. I'll be in my study." Business before pleasure.

"Okay." She closed her eyes for a second as he left. Talk about feeling way out of her comfort zone. This was his den. His bachelor's pad.

She walked around the room as she saw the changing colours at dusk. For the last couple of weeks armaan was a regular guy who wore leather jackets, keeps chocolate ice cream in his fridge. The guy who mixed pink dye in her shampoo on their reception eve, who supported her when she broke down in his arms and made her breakfast every morning.

But now they're on his territory. This armaan was different. The permanent playboy, wealthier than she'd ever imagine. He managed business empire over two countries. Way out of her stratosphere.

He's also the man who she'd had the most sensational sex of her life with.

If she'd just concentrate on that and not on any emotions that goes with it. Not think about how he tugs strings of her heart like no one else could tug. Making her feel things, she doesn't want to feel. Making her vulnerable.

No, no. Not vulnerable! In control. Swinging her suitcase on to the bed, she took out a dress and slid open the mirrored wardrobe to look for a coat hanger...

A row of neatly hung dresses from black to white were arranged in their wardrobe. Her stomach turned, fingers went limp. But only for a moment. Had the previous women left her designer underwear too? She yanked open the wardrobe, pulled out all the drawers and found boxers, briefs, socks.

An abundant supply of condoms were stacked up in the bedside table. She slammed the drawer shut. An overabundant in her opinion! Atleast he was responsible, but did he have to be such a boy scout about it?

"Riddhima?" Armaan the love rat came in the room. "I heard noises. What are you doing?" he stood at the door frame. His eyesbrows furrowed, eyes questioning...Damn it! It made her look like as if she was looking for hidden cash in his room.

She was holding a pair of black briefs she realised dropping it in the drawer and moving away from his underwear.

"The condoms are in the bedside drawer." He stood there lazily leaning against the door jamb. "In case you're wondering."

"Yes I know. And I was wondering why have you asked me here when obviously you have got plenty of female company to keep you occupied."

His gaze followed to the open wardrobe and his expressions cleared. "I forgot to tell you about them. They're for you. I bought them from the boutique downstairs. Surely some of them will fit you."

"So now my clothes aren't good enough for your company?" she asked acidly but then felt like an idiot for accusing him for no reason.

"You were the one who said you didn't had anything suitable to wear." He said frowning.

Oh. Man! "Look...I didn't expect you to...I am sorry okay?" she waved a vague hand. "I don't expect you to-"

"Just choose something. How about that deep green or turquoise?" his voice smooth. Eyes liquid.

She could almost hear him say One that comes off easily at the end of the evening.

All air left her lungs. "Okay." She managed to say.

His eyes seared on to her. "We'll leave in 30 minutes."

******************************************************

"In you get wifey. It's gettin' chilly out here." Armaan said as the chauffeur opened the limousine's door.

Riddhima sat on the long seat while armaan climbed next to her. He poured a couple glass of champagne and gave one to riddhima. "To a pleasant evening."

She clinked her glass with his. "Pleasant evening."

Chauffeured limos, champagne en route, she thought how easy it is to take all this for granted once you get marvelled to this kind of privileges.

"Something to wear tonight." Armaan said taking a velvet rectangular box out.

"You don't have to." Her heart hammered suddenly at the unexpected gesture.

"But I want to. Please accept it." For a second riddhima thought she heard vulnerability  in armaan's voice. Armaan and vulnerable? Nah not possible!

Riddhima slowly opened the box and inside a thin chain of sparkling stones were laid on black satin pillow. Without a doubt she knew there were real diamonds. That necklace must have cost THE EARTH!

"I am sorry I can't take it." She breathed. "I'd never have an occasion to wear it."

"You have one tonight." He lifted the necklace up and draped it around her neck giving her a kiss there as he fastened the clasp.

She played with the winking diamonds around her neck. "I wonder how many third world countries children could be fed with the money it would fetch."

"It's not always about the money. It's a gift to show how much you..." he trailed and her heart started thudding again. "How much I've enjoyed having you with me. I had one of the best time of my lives with you riddhima." Saying that he lifted her chin and gave her a soft kiss and she couldn't help but sink in it.

Careful riddhima, don't take any of his gestures to your heart. He's not going to be with you forever. He's leaving you once he gets all the money. Digging her fingers into her palms as he drew back, she turned her head to watch the city lights reflecting into river Thames.

As they got out of the limo, armaan's heart filled with warmth as riddhima's first reaction was "Wow! This building looks so...classy."

It was a 47 floor sky scraper with floor to window glass windows which was mirrored from outside but you can see clearly once you're inside. The party was held on the top floor terrace and they were greeted with forest fragrance mixed with melting wax and beer.

"Anjali and the organising committee has done a terrific job." Armaan said proudly.

"Whose anjali?" Riddhima asked nosily.

Armaan grinned when he saw suspicion in her eyes. "She's my secretary and one of my closest friend." Riddhima nodded tightly. "and we've never dated. If that makes you feel any better."

Riddhima's head snapped towards him and she could feel her cheeks burn. "As if I care." She tried shrugging her shoulder casually and armaan grinned.

"Come and meet my colleagues." He'd barely taken a couple of steps when Anjali appeared in front of him and gave armaan a tight hug.

"Can't believe you actually got married. Man and what's up with your wife's pink hair? I saw her in the magazine." Anjali rattled on and riddhima tried hiding behind armaan when armaan abruptly turned around catching riddhima's hand and pulled her in front.

"Ask her yourself." Armaan winked at riddhima and she shifts around her spot uncomfortably. Suddenly she felt like a species under the strong glare of the microscope. "Riddhima this is Anjali and Anjali this is my 'bombshell of a wife riddhima' who's a Pink colour fanatic."

"Oh my god I am so sorry riddhima. I didn't noti-" she stops and looks at her from top to bottom. "My my, the magazine didn't do justice to your stunning looks. You both look like the Desi version of Brat Pit and Angelina Jolie." With that she gave riddhima a tight girlfriend hug and riddhima's mouth open. For the first time in her life she was gobsmacked. Armaan gave her an amused expression and raises a brow expecting her to say something witty.

Riddhima came out of the hug with a huge smile on her face. She was genuinely happy to meet Anjali. "I am such an overachiever aren't I?" she joked and armaan rolled his eyes.

Then Anjali linked arms with riddhima. "I want you to meet someone and then I am going to take you to silent auction and let's see what treasure we can get from there. You don't mind do you do Armaan? And John Sharpe wanted to discuss something with you anyways." She swept riddhima while waving vague hand towards the bunch of men in the corner before he could mutter more than "No worries."

He discovered that he did mind. He wanted to talk to his date. Not some hardnosed business man who don't know when to quit once they start talking. He glared into riddhima's direction as she and Anjali disappeared into the throng of women.

Refusing to talk to anyone at this point, he headed towards the bar and ordered a drink.

"Armaan." His receptionist Joan came and stood beside him with a charming smile. "Congratulations. You found a stunner of a wife dude. Just saw her with Anj."

For some reason armaan's heart filled with warmth at his wife's praise. "Thank you. Did you talk to her? Man she's got some mouth over there. Like she's got a witty reply for any and everything. It's such a pleasure talking to her sometimes..." He rattled on without stopping.

"Just like you. Even you're famous for your snappy mouth here. Aren't ya?" she smiled. "You both are perfect for each other."

"We are?" he asked amusedly.

"Sometimes we can't see what's right in front of us as we take it for granted." Joan offered her words of wisdom and armaan started wondering. They are really good with each other aren't they?

 He shook his head. What the hell is he thinking? Armaan don't do happily ever after. These kinda things only happen to cinderalla and prince charming not to mortals like them. Brrr. "How's the auction going?"

Her laughter bubbled up in the air as she shook her head. "Very well. Which charity are you sponsoring?"

He thought of riddhima. "We're going to donate this money to the third world country charities and feed many homeless children."

"A good cause indeed."

Armaan spotted riddhima with some of his colleagues, talking to them, enjoying herself. He headed towards her purposely slowly so that he could drink in the sight of her. She looked breathtaking in that teal green gown which had a long slit till her mid thigh making her look irresistibly sexy. Her gown had a sweetheart neckline and the bodice was boned and enhanced with gems and beads. Her diamond necklace sparkled in the spotlights making her look one in a million. She was quite a stunner wasn't she? Despite of living in india she has such modern thoughts and independent streak to her personality.

Anjali took riddhima with her somewhere again and armaan swore under his breath. Anjali is being such a kabab mein haddi tonight. No jokes!

Riddhima was absolutely enjoying the company of Anjali as they headed towards the glass wall. Turning around she drunk in the panorama view of the London below her.

"Admiring the view?" Anjali asked as she noticed riddhima's no longer listening to her rather looked out of the glass wall.

"It's beautiful isn't it?" riddhima whispered in awe. "Armaan's literally on the top of the world."

A moment of silence. "It took him years of hard work, sacrifice and scaling Mount Everest to get here." Her response was defensive.

"You two have been known each other for quite a while haven't you?"

"Ten years. He was merely eighteen when he joined the business. I was working part time in those days." She said. "You're wondering about our relationship. Friends confidants but never lovers. Does that help?"

Riddhima nodded feeling ashamed of herself. "I am sorry if that came as anything more that friendly curiosity."

"Doesn't mean I don't care about him. If he'd been my brother, I wouldn't have cared more. Especially after the death of his mother. He was completely broken"

A chill ran down riddhima's spine, the ground beneath her shook and her hands felt clamy. "His mum's DEAD?!" She gasped in horror at the revelation. Oh my, what has she done? She suddenly remembered how angry armaan got that day when she accused his mother of not showing up in his life. Of cutting him out of her life.

"Didn't he tell you?" Anjali suddenly felt like she put her foot in her mouth. "He never likes talking about his family. He loved his mum a lot you know. She used to come to London every now and again to meet Armaan but suddenly one day she passed away in a terrible car accident. He just couldn't take the shock."

If it was possible then riddhima would have slapped herself right there and then. What an idiot she's been! Without knowing the truth she spat out poison that day! And armaan still forgave her and rather comforted her later that night when she was breaking down.

Her stomach twisted. "Thanks for telling me. I think I told him something, I shouldn't have."

Anjali smiled. "Why don't you go find him?"

Riddhima ran towards armaan who was standing by the steel railing of the balcony talking to someone on the phone. She turned him around abruptly and placed her warm lips on his before she chickens out.

Armaan drops the phone at the exact moment riddhima did this wild thing. But before he could comprehend and use some of his brain cells. Riddhima increased the pressure of her lips on his and kept kissing him until he lost the ability to think straight and kissed her back with equal fervour. She lifted her head and armaan noticed her watery eyes.

"I am so sorry armaan." She said in without taking a breath.

Armaan's brows furrowed, eyes questioning. "For what exactly wifey? If you appoligising for molesting The MD of Mallik Empires in the middle of a business party then don't bother, the pleasure was all mines." He pecked her lips again.

Riddhima shook her head. "Nah I wasn't apologising for the kiss." She said and could feel her heart beating in her chest. "I just...found out...about your mum."

Armaan's expression changed in a matter of seconds. "Anjali told you?" he asked with an unreadable face.

"Yes. But that's not the point." She took a deep breath. "Why didn't you tell me when...I was saying all the wrong things."

"It doesn't matter now riddhima. That was ages ago." He said while trying to shrug casually. "I got over that incident as well now."

Riddhima looked deeply in his eyes. "If you got over your mum's death then how come you still couldn't forgive your father?"

A silence followed. "Whatever he did to me and my mum, I could never forget. And he doesn't deserve to get forgiven as well." He replied scathingly.

"You should forgive him you know. It's for your own benefit." He looked at her incredulously. "Sometimes you just have to let it go man. You mum won't come back no matter how much you hate your dad."

********************************************************************************

They both came home in an eerie silence at midnight. Once in the apartment, riddhima heated the readymade food she found in armaan's fridge. She did notice in the party that armaan didn't eat a morsel rather kept busying himself in things. Avoiding her. And it hurt like hell she discovered.

"Hungry?" she brought the delicious smelling plate in front of him.

He gave her a look and her hands shook. "Yes, but I am not talking about food." He took a bite and gave her the other half lingering his fingers while she nibbled on the morsel.

Riddhima swallowed, still looking at him. "I did offend you didn't I? I am sorry."

"I am not offended; It was more of a reality check. You're right riddhima. All these years I held onto hatred for my dad and that just made me really bitter towards marriages."

"Look...you don't just have to say these things to make me happy." Riddhima said and armaan gave her one of his heart throbbing smiles.

"Oh wifey, when have I have made an effort to make you happy?" he asked sassily lightening up the mood. "But seriously, I think I am ready to forget about it. I am still not sure whether I'll be completely able to get over it or not."

Riddhima could totally relate this to her situation. "Time is the best medicine. It will heal; you'll just have to let it go..."

"What say we do something wild tonight?" armaan said keeping the plate aside and pulling her closer. "You know just to forget about all this sad stuff for some time."

Riddhima wrapped her arms around his neck. "We shouldn't have left the party so early. It would've been good to mingle." She said cheekily.

Armaan got her cue. "I can think of better ways to mingle." He said while sweeping riddhima off her feet as she giggled like a teenager and kissed him with all heart's content.



Next morning she lay awake in armaan's arms snuggling into him. She was content at this very moment. She wasn't analysing anything, not anticipating tomorrow. Just simply content to be sleeping next to him at this very moment.

Since armaan left for his conference early, riddhima spent a lazy day pleasing her, going around London, shopping in the high street shops and then sat in the cold winter sun eating an ice cream.

Later in the afternoon, she thought of treating herself with a spa bath. White marble framing the floor to ceiling windows which captured enthralling view of London.

"Need your back washed?"

She turned around to see armaan standing there with two glasses of champagne in his hands.

Armaan gave her a cocky smile and started unbuttoning his shirt. He looked gloriously handsome in the gleaming sun, his jaw slightly shadowed with the day's stubble. "Only my back?"

He unzipped his trousers and grinned at her as her gaze travelled downwards on his body. His teeth gleaming as he took out a condom from his trouser pocket. "Whatever you want. I am a slave to your desires." he said stepping in the massive bathtub.

saniya

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