Saturday, 14 September 2019

Chapter 11 : Dangerous Desire (AR)

You and Me?   Never!


Riddhima was lost in her own thoughts.  She still couldn't believe she had called Armaan all that.  What will he think about her?  He'll probably be really angry and like he said, he was coming down to the canteen to yell at her.  But the bigger problem was Nivi and Rocky.  If he yelled at her in front of the duo, then they'll come to know about her lie and that was the last thing she'd ever want.  What was she suppose to do now?


"Kya soch rahi ho Ridz?" She was pulled out of her thoughts and she looked at them.



"Nothing." She smiled at them.




"Thinking about Armaan aren't you?" Riddhima gave them a nervous smile and looked down, not knowing what to say.



"Aww... dekho na yeh kaise sharma rahi hain?" Riddhima looked at them as if they had just escaped from a mental asylum, but changed her expression before they could catch her.  Rahul, who was sitting right beside her, decided to have some fun.  He moved close to her and whispered in her ear.



"Hmm... Honey, sweetheart, baby, jaanu... nice.  I see you're having lots of fun.  Aur Armaan toh tumse baat karne ke liye marr raha hoga na?" Riddhima slowly turned towards him and gave him a sugary smile.



"Rahul ke bacche.  Shukar karo ke Rocky aur Nivi ab tak yahaan hain.  Warna toh main tumhari aisi haalat karti na, ke khud ko aaiyne mein dekh kar darr jaoge.  Ek toh inn ko main hi milli thi Armaan ki wife banaane ke liye?  Kitni saari ladkiyaan hain yahaan. Anjali, Niki, Muski." She stressed on Muskaan's name to which Rahul's head shot up.  In his mind, he started to imagine Armaan and Muskaan running towards each other in slow motion and finally hugging each other.



Riddhima snapped her fingers in front of his eyes and he shook his head slightly.  She arched her brows asking, 'What' and he just shook his head.  Riddhima smiled to herself.



Wow.  Rahul toh Muski pe poora lattoo ho chuka hain.  Lekin Muski kya sochti hain?



On the other hand, Armaan was furious.  How could Riddhima talk to him like that?  He was her boss for God sake!  Calling him baby, honey, and God knows what!  What the hell did she think she was?



Angrily, he walked down to the canteen.  The employees thought that someone was in big trouble because they could tell Armaan was fuming in anger.  It wasn't hard to tell.  He reached the canteen and saw the group talking animatedly to each other.



"Riddh-" He started off angrily and the entire canteen went quiet, but Armaan was shocked to see Nivi and Rocky there.  He looked at Riddhima who was making sorry faces and then looking at Nivi and Rocky.  He realized that the couple had made Riddhima call him and talk like that.



"Kya hua Armaan?  Tum itne gusse mein kyun lag rahe ho?" He looked at Rocky, trying to think of an excuse.



"Woh... uh... haan.  Meri ek file nahin mill rahi thi aur sirf Riddhima hi jaanti hain ki woh file kahaan hain.  Iss liye thoda gussa ho gaya tha."



"Koi baat nahin my boy!  Come sit!" Armaan was about to sit between Atul and Abhi when Nivi stopped him.



"Arre.  Tum vahaan kyun baithe ho?  Jao apni wife ke paas jaa ke baitho.  Chalo." Armaan looked at Riddhima who was surprised.  He pulled up a chair and sat down beside Riddhima.  Just then, the food arrived and they started to eat, except Armaan, which didn't go unnoticed by the couple.



"Arre.  Tum kuch kha kyun nahin rahe?"



"Woh... maine kuch order hi nahin kiya toh main-"



"Arre toh Riddhima ke plate se khao na.  Woh tumhari wife hain, usse thodi na bura lagega?  Kyun Riddhima?" Riddhima was shocked, but she nodded anyways.  She moved her plate a little to his side.  She glared at him, which he gladly returned.  He was about to take a piece and put it his mouth, when Nivi stopped him again.



"Kya hua Nivi?"



"You know what?  I want to see some actual romance between you two.  Ek kaam karo.  Tum dono ek doosre ko khilaao."



"What?"



"What, 'What?'  Feed each other!" Armaan and Riddhima stared at each other in shock.



Yeh idiot mujhe khilayega?  No ways!



Yeh mujhe khilaayegi?  Hell no!



The group was excited because of this.  They never knew that their clients will bring them so close.



"Yaar Anj.  I'm sooo glad ki yeh dono yahaan hain.  Humare kaam toh aur bhi aasaan ho gaya hain." said Niki.



"I know.  Issi bahaane yeh dono kareeb toh aayenge."



"Haan aur dono ek doosre ko ek alag nazar se bhi dekhenge.  That's so cool na!"



"Yep."



Armaan and Riddhima kept glaring at each other, indicating that they weren't interested in doing anything like that, while the gang was getting impatient.



"Tum dono ek doosre ko aise kyun dekh rahe ho?  Come on, ek doosre ko khana khilaao.  Armaan, you start." Armaan took a tiny piece and took it to Riddhima's mouth.   She opened her mouth he fed her the morsel.  "Now your turn Riddhima." She took a bigger piece and fed it to him, but he accidently bit her finger.  She hissed and took her finger away.



"I'm sorry." He immediately took her finger and blew air on it to reduce the pain.  Riddhima just closed her eyes in pain, but was surprised when she felt air being blown on her finger.  She slowly opened her eyes and looked at Armaan.  She couldn't feel the pain anymore and kept staring at Armaan.  She was actually liking this caring side of him.  Yes, he was really mean and pretty obnoxious sometimes, but she knew he wasn't bad at heart either.  There was something about him that always attracted her towards him.  Was she starting to like him?  Was she starting to feel for him?  Was it a simple attraction?



Armaan looked up into her eyes.  He saw the admiration in her eyes for him.  There was a tinge of confusion in them and something else that he couldn't decipher.  Once again, he found himself losing himself in her beady eyes.  She blinked softly, capturing the moment in her heart.



*ahem ahem*



They came out of their little trance and looked at the gang with flushed faces.



"Kya baat hain?  Lagta hain tum dono ek doosre se sach mein bohat pyaar karte ho.  Dekho na.  Kaise ek doosre ki aankhon mein kho gaye the."



"Haan ma'am.  Aap bilkul sahi keh rahi ho." Muskaan giggled at her own words along with the others, making Armaan and Riddhima glare at her.



The rest of the lunch went in a similar manner, though Armaan and Riddhima were once again left confused about their feelings.



                                                                    ****



"What the hell yaar?  Yeh toh bohat badi problem ho gayi hain.  Mujhe aur Armaan ko husband aur wife ban kar rehna padega?  No ways!"


"Ridz, we know this is really annoying for you, but please yaar.  Tumhe karna padega.  Varna yeh contract humare haath se chhooth jaayega."



"Haan.  Aur waise bhi isse kya hain?  Isse aur tareekein mill jaayenge mere saath flirt karne ke liye." Riddhima jaws dropped to the floor listening to him.



"Hawww!  Tumhare kehne ka yeh matlab hain ki main tumhare flirt karti hoon!"



"I'm stating the fact.  Yeh saara drama mere paas aane ke liye kar rahi ho na?  Yeh jaanu, baby, honey... all is a drama isn't it?



"Oh hello!" She started to walk to him and he moved back till he hit the wall.  "Tumse flirt karne se achha main kunwe (well) mein jaa ke kud jaun.  Samjhe na?  Khud itna importance dene ki zaroorat nahin hain.  Aur rahi baat jaanu, baby, aur honey ki, toh yeh sab main shauk se nahin kar rahi hoon.  Iss company ke liye kar rahi hoon!  Warna mujhe koi shauk nahin hain tumhe apne haathon se khana khilaane ka.  Get it?  Huh!" Stomping her foot,  she moved back to her previous spot and crossed her arms across her chest.



"Guys!  Tum dono yeh sab ab band karoge?  Rocky aur Nivi toh ab yahaan aate jaate rahenge.  Agar unn dono ne tum dono ko aise ladte hue dekh liya toh saara kiya, karaaya paani mein mill jaayega.  So stop fighting and for once get along with each other!" Riddhima and Armaan glared at each other and then looked at Anjali.



"I'll try." Both said at the same time and looked at each other.  Niki and Abhi looked at each other.  Niki went to Armaan and Abhi went to Riddhima and both brought the duo in front of each other.



"Ab chalo haath milaao." They just rolled their eyes and looked away.  "Guys!  Haath milaao!" They hesitantly shook each others hands and the others smiled widely, knowing that their first step had been very well successful.



                                                                        ****



Armaan and Riddhima were in their cabin, thinking about Atul and Anjali.  They knew both Atul and Anjali loved each other a lot, but they just didn't want to confess.  Now the main question was, how do they make each other confess their love?!



"Yaar yeh kitna difficult hain!  Atul, Anj se bohat pyaar karta hain, aur Anj bhi.  Lekin dono confess karne se bhaagte hain.  Kya karun?  Kiski help loon?" Armaan's thought came into her mind.  "Armaan?  Nahin.  Woh kamina meri naak mein dum kar dega.  No ways.  Lekin ussi ki help leni padegi.  Hey Krishna!  Help!"



Riddhima knocked on Armaan's door and entered when she heard a 'come in' from him.



"Tum iss waqt yahaan kya kar rahi ho?"



"Woh... actually... mujhe... woh... uh..."



"Ab bologi bhi ya nahin?"



"Sorry.  Woh, tumhe... Atul aur Anjali ke baare mein pata hain?"



"Unke baare mein kya?"



"Yeh hi ke... woh dono ek doosre se... pyaar karte hain." Armaan was shocked.



"Anjali bhi Atul se pyaar karti hain?!"



"Matlab tumhe yeh pata hain ki Atul, Anjali se pyaar karta hain?"



"Of course mujhe pata hoga!  He's my brother!  Lekin tumhe kaise pata chala ki Anjali bhi Atul se pyaar karti hain?"



"Woh..." She narrated him the entire story, shocking him even further.  "Aur ab mujhe yeh samajh nahin aa raha ki unn dono ko kaise milaoon.  Iss liye main yahaan aayi hoon.  Tumse help maangne."



"Mujhe toh khud kuch samajh nahin aa raha.  Dono ek doosre se bohat pyaar karte hain.  Ab sochna yeh hain ki dono ko confess kaise karvaayein."



"I know.  Anj ko lagta hain ki Atul kissi aur se pyaar karta hain, jo bilkul bhi sach nahin hain.  Aur usski issi insecurity ne usse mere saamne confess karne par majboor kar diya.  Aur shayad-"



"Usski yeh hi insecurity usse Atul ke saamne bhi confess karva de." Both looked at each other and a smile started to form on Riddhima's lips.



"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"



"Sure I am."



"So are you up for it?"



"Definitely."



"So let's do it!"



                                                                    ****



In a really dark, empty room, a man around his early 30's had his legs on the table and was talking on the phone.



"Kaam ho jaana chahiye.  Pata hain na ek mahine mein tender ke liye meeting hone waali hain.  Usse pehle kaam ho jaana chahiye."



"Yes Sir.  Don't worry sab kuch ho jaayega."



"Better be." He cut the call and let out a snort.



"Armaan, Armaan, Armaan, Armaan, Armaan.  Tch, tch, tch, tch, tch... poor boy.  Mujhse panga lene ki koshish kar rahe ho?  I'm sorry, lekin tum mujhse kabhi nahin jeet paaoge.  Never." He laughed an evil laugh and looked at the dartboard in front of him, which contained Armaan's picture.  He took a dart and threw it at the dartboard, making a perfect shot.



"And the game begins now."



                                                                    ****



Rahul was pacing his cabin to and fro, reading the file in his hand.  He was unknown to another presense in the room.



"Coffee." He was startled hearing Muskaan's voice.  He was so engrossed in his work that he just didn't notice her.



"Tum kab aayi?"



"Mujhe yahaan aaye toh paanch minute se bhi zyaada ho gaya hain."



"Oh, I'm sorry."



"It's alright.  Ab coffee pee lo.   Thandi pad jaayegi." Rahul smiled.  In the process of getting the mug, he accidently held Muskaan's hand, making her gasp.  She slowly looked into his eyes, getting mesmerized by the depth of them, whereas Rahul was trying to decipher the feeling in her eyes.  Unconsciously, Rahul moved closer to Muskaan.  He slowly and gently moved the hair strand behind her ear whilst she closed her eyes, treasuring the beautiful moment in her heart. 



"Tum... bohat... khubsoorat ho.  You're beautiful." Muskaan felt color rising up to her cheeks.  She just couldn't stop the blush from showing up.  Rahul smiled, enjoying the blush creeping up her cheeks.



"You look beautiful when you blush." He whispered in her ear and she gasped realizing what they were doing.  She moved a step back.



"Y-your coffee." She fumbled with words, not looking in his eyes.  He took the mug and she literally ran out of the cabin.  Rahul chuckled at his crazy little secretary.



The rest of the day went by quickly with some more romance, arguments, eyelocks, and last but not least, work being completed.  They had finished most of the work which pertained to the house and they had even given the builder the order to start building the house.  The builder had given a rough estimate of about 1-2 months till the house would be completed and Rocky and Nivi had been over the moon hearing this.



                                                                           ****



Armaan was looking out the window watching the rain droplets fall on the ground, making a melodious tune.  For some reason, Riddhima wasn't leaving his thoughts.  Her smile, which would brighten his day.  Her voice, which would give him peace.  And her eyes... he wanted to drown himself in the ocean of her eyes.  When she was around, everything seemed beautiful.  Though he doesn't admit it, but aruging with Riddhima had become one of his favorite tasks to do.  The way her nose would flare and her eyes would get wider was a treat to watch.  She was like a gush of fresh air in his life.  Slowly she was making her way in his heart and he was scared.  Scared to let someone else invade his heart and thoughts. 



He realized the walls he had built around him, were starting to crumble one by one.  Riddhima was breaking them.  She was making the old Armaan come out.  The Armaan that he, himself, had destroyed 5 years back.  She bringing life back into that Armaan.  No!  He couldn't let that happen.  He just couldn't!  He had received pain and only pain when he was that Armaan and he wasn't going to let that happen to him again.  He wasn't going to let anyone else come and toy with his feelings once again.  He had to do something.  He had to make the walls stronger.  So strong that no one could ever break them.  He had to become that ruthless Armaan that he was.



No Riddhima.  No.  I won't let you come near me.  Never.  Tumhe mujhse door rehna padega.  Agar mere paas aayi, toh isska anjaam tumhare liye achha nahin hoga.  You'll have to stay away from me.



He punched the wall beside him so hard that his hand started to bleed.  But he didn't care about the pain.  Afterall, does physical pain really matter when your heart is bleeding?

 

-Medzi-

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