Friday, 20 September 2019

Chapter 17 : Dangerous Desire (AR)

I Can't Believe This!

She stood on a huge rock with her arms spread out and a soft, dreamy smile on her face. The sky was covered with soft white clouds. The soft tranquil wind played with her beautiful curls. A pair of strong arms crept up her tiny waist and turned her around in a swift motion, banging her into his hardcore chest. Her rosy lips curved up into a loving smile seeing her favorite electric blue eyes staring back into her forest green ones. She moved her delicate arms around his neck pulling him closer. His long, silky hair brushed against her forehead. She whispered his name and he smiled. She averted her gaze shyly. He placed his hand under her chin and made her look up. He bent down and placed his lips over hers.

"AAAHHH!" Riddhima woke up screaming in her sleep with her eyes tightly shut and was sweating badly. She opened her eyes and looked around the dark room. She exhaled as it dawned on her that she was dreaming and she fell back on the pillow.

"Wooh. It was a dream." The door suddenly opened and Muskaan barged in.

"Kya hua Ridz? Tu chila kyun rahi thi?" Riddhima sat up and looked at Muskaan, thinking about what to say. Obviously she couldn't tell Muskaan she was dreaming about kissing Armaan!

"Nothing yaar. Just had a bad dream."



"Oh."

"And why are you up right now? Shouldn't you be in bed snoring?"

"Shut up Ridz!"

"Then why are you up right now?" Riddhima suddenly saw something on her window. It was a black shadow which showed a male figure pacing up and down.

"Muski! Woh dekh! Someone's out there!" She spoke in a voice only audible to Muskaan, who looked very tensed.

"N-nahin. K-koi nahin hain."

"Nahin Muski, vahaan koi hain. Hawww! Kahin chor toh nahin?! Abhi maza chakhati hoon! Mera rod kahaan hain?" She looked around and saw her stick lying in a corner of the room. She picked it up and went out of the room while Muskaan tried to stop her.

"Haayo rabba! Ab kya hoga?"

Riddhima was out of the house in no time and Muskaan kept trying to stop her.

"Ridz sun toh!"

"Shh! Chup reh!" She placed her finger on her lip and started to take careful and steady steps whereas Muskaan just followed her. They reached the back of the house and saw two young men standing there with their backs facing them. Riddhima pressed her lips together and moved forward with narrowed eyes. When she was close enough, she yelled.

"Chor kahinke!" She hit started to hit both of them with the rod while they tried to stop her.

"Chor! Mere ghar mein chori karne aaye ho? Tum dono ki toh main!" She hit them harder while they winced in pain.

"Ruko meri maa! Hum hain!" The two finally turned around and Riddhima gasped loudly seeing Armaan and Rahul there.

"TUM DONO YAHAAN KYA KAR RAHE HO!" She shouted while they struggled to stand up.

"Hey Bhagwaan! Marr gaya!"

"Itni zor se koi maarta hain kya!" Armaan exclaimed.

"Lekin tum dono aadhi raat ko yahaan kya kar rahe ho? Sharam naam ki koi cheez hain ya girvi rakh kar aaye ho?! Besharmo! Aadhi raat ko koi javaan ladki ke ghar par aata hain kya!" Riddhima roared in anger.

"Main toh Muskaan se milne aaya tha lekin mujhe kya pata tha ki itni raat ko mere pe rod ki barsaat hogi."

"Aur tum? Tum yahaan kya mujhse milne aaye the?"

"Itni achhi bhi kismat nahin hain tumhari! Rahul yahaan aane se darr raha tha toh main usske saath aaya tha. Lekin tumhari jaisi jungli billi se main kuch aur expect hi nahin kar sakta!"

"Hawww! Tumne mujhe jungli billi kaha!"

"Haan, galti ho gayi na. Actually tumhe jungli billi nahin, haathi bulaana chahiye."

"KYA!"

"Haan! Itni raat ko tum mein itni energy rehti kaise hain?"

"Tumhara dimaag kharaab hain kya? Kuch bhi bake jaa rahe ho!"

"Kyun? Sach kadva laga? Haathi!" The next moment he was running for his life as Riddhima was chasing him to murder him.

"Ruko! Armaan Mallik! I'll kill you!"

Armaan stopped as he was running out of breath. Riddhima, who was still running, didn't see the slippery mud on the ground and slipped. She shut her eyes in fear and breathed heavily, waiting for her body to hit the ground and her bones to crack, but she scrunched her brows together as she felt nothing. She slowly opened her eyes to find herself lost in the blue seas the next moment.

Armaan felt heaven as he held her tiny figure in his arms. He gazed her from top to bottom. Her blue t-shirt pointed out all of her perfect curves while the black hip hugging boyshorts revealed her milky white long legs. He gulped seeing her like that. For the first time, he had seen her in something other than churidaars. He knew how beautiful she was, but he never knew Riddhima could look so mouthwatering. Passion rose in him.

He held her waist tighter pulling her close to his body. Riddhima gasped as she felt his fingers on her bare skin. She closed her eyes feeling him rubbing her waist sensuously. She felt a burning sensation run through her body. Their faces were only inches apart. He felt her shaky breath hit his face. He moved his nose along her soft cheeks. She shuddered feeling him so close to her.

"Ar-Armaan... chh-chhodo mujhe." She whispered, trying her best to control her emotions, but her heart was taking over all her senses. Gathering up all her courage, she pushed him away from her and ran away as quickly as possbile, not wanting to face him a second longer. Armaan ran his hand through his hair, frustrated because he just couldn't keep his hands to himself feeling her soo close.

****

Riddhima laid down on her bed, switching the lights on and off continuously. Her mind kept playing the moment over and over again. She couldn't believe she lost her control again! Wasn't she supposed to have control over how she reacted? But when he was around, she felt like she didn't have any control over her own body! This was crazy! What was happening with her!

On the other hand, Armaan stood under the shower, feeling the icy water run down his body. He just couldn't stop thinking about her. Even in the icy water, he felt hot around his body.

Yeh kya ho raha hain? Mera khud par koi kaabu kyun nahin hain? Jab woh paas ho, toh mujhe aisa lagta hain jaise main, main hi nahin. This has to stop. This bloody has to stop!

The night passed by in this confusion. Both had decided to control themselves and not think about this anymore, but could they?

****

Armaan took a sip from his coffee and called Riddhima in his cabin. After last night, he had decided not to let her affect him anymore. He was confident he'll be able to control himself in front of her. But inside, he knew he couldn't.

Riddhima entered the cabin with his schedule for the day. Like Armaan, even she had decided, not to let him affect her. Taking a deep breath, she went in.

"Start."

"Aaj tumhari koi meeting nahin hain. Lekin tumhare liye ek phone aaya tha. Tumhe yeh yaad dilaane ke liye ke do din mein Lonavla waale tender ka submission karna hain aur usske aanth din baad results aayenge."

"Haan. Mujhe yaad hain." Along with this, Armaan was reminded of the unusual happenings in the office. He just couldn't believe that someone was actually doing this. But more than that, he anxious to find out who the culprit was. He made a promise to himself to give a severe punishment to whoever it was. He was sure of one thing. The culprit worked in his office and if he wasn't wrong, it was definitely related to the tender project.

Riddhima saw Armaan lost in his thoughts. She could tell he was very worried about something and decided to ask him.

"Sir. Kya hua? Why do you look so tensed?" Armaan looked at her.

"Nahin. Kuch nahin." He stood up with a jerk, but yelped feeling a sharp pain in his shoulders.

"AAAHH!" Riddhima was alarmed hearing him scream and immediately rushed to his side and held him by his shoulders.

"Kya hua? Tum aise chila kyun rahe ho?"

"Kal raat ko kitni zor se maara tha. Dard toh hoga na!"

"I-I'm very sorry. Mujhe nahin pata tha ki tumhe itni zor se lag gayi."

"Lag gayi. Thank God humne tumhe rok liya nahin toh aaj main hospital mein hota."

"Toh kissi bhi normal insaan ko yeh hi lagega ki chor aaya hain."

"Main tumhe chor lagta hoon?"

"Haan."

"You... you... you haathi!"

"Saand!"

"Jungli billi!"

"Bandar!"

"Gadhi!"

"Kamine!"

The kept fighting like five year olds, not even remembering that they were supposed to keep distance from each other.

****

Niki entered Abhi's cabin in a very angry mood and slammed a file on his table.

"Yeh kya hain Abhi?"

"Kya?"

"Tumhare saare calculations galat hain. Tumhara dhyaan kahaan hain Abhi?" She scolded him with her nose flaring in anger.

"Kya?"

"Haan ji! Khud hi dekho!" Abhi took the file and went through it. He bit his tongue realizing he had done many things wrong.

"Thank God main tumhari secretary hoon! Warna toh tum pata nahin kya kar doge!"

"Sorry na Niki. I didn't mean it na."

"'I didn't mean it.'" She mimicked him and made a sullen face.

"Main issko abhi theek kar deta hoon."

"Koi zaroorat nahin hain. Maine already isse theek kar diya. Turn the page." He just closed the file and forwarded it to her. He didn't even have to check them as he knew Niki would never do anything wrong when it comes to business.

"Check nahin karna?"

"Niki. I trust you." He said sincerely and Niki looked at him. She was touched by his words and a smile formed on her lips. Her heart somersaulted knowing Abhi trusted her so much. He didn't even check her work just because he knew she was right all the time.

Abhi. Tumhe nahin pata tumhari chhoti se chhoti baat mere liye kitna mayine rakhti hain. Yeh jaan kar ki tumhe mujh par itna bharosa hain, mujhe bohat achha laga. Sach.

Abhi smiled seeing Niki's smile. He was so grateful to have Niki in his life. She made everything so easy for him, no matter how difficult it is.

****

Atul was getting frustrated day by day hearing Anjali. He really needed to know who the guy was, but whenever he asked her, she always had one answer- you'll find out soon. He just had enough with this. How was he supposed to find out?

Anjali knocked on the door and he let her in.

"Hey Atul. What's up?"

"Kuch nahin. Bas kuch soch raha tha."

"Kya?"

"Nothing much. Just work."

"Oh. You want some coffee?"

"No yaar. I'm fine."

"Sure?"

"Yeah." There was a moment of silence. Neither of them knew what to say, though they had similar thoughts.

"Umm... Anjali."

"Bolo."

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Sure." Anjali knew what the question was going to be, but let him ask it anyways.

"Woh... who's the guy?"

"Oh... so Mr. Atul ko jaanna hain?"

"Obviously! Issi liye toh maine tumse puchha."

"Umm... nahin. Main tumhe nahin bataungi."

"Please Anjali. Bolo na. Kitne dino se suspense khada kar ke rakha hain." Atul whined and Anjali decided to give him a hint.

"Theek hain. Main tumhe ek hint dungi. Ok?"

"Chalega. Jaldi hint do." Anjali thought for a few seconds.

"Ok. Woh ladka issi office mein kaam karta hain."

"OMG! Yeh toh mujhe already pata hain."

"Really?"

"Haan. Tum hi ne toh bataya tha."

"Arre haan. Ummm... let's see. What do you wanna know? And mind you. If it's going to be an obvious one, then I'm not gonna answer it."

"Ok, ok. Umm... what does his name start with?"

"No ways! I'm not telling you!"

"Hey! This isn't even obvious! Kitne logo ka naam ek letter se shuru hota hoga! Now come on. Tell me."

"Ok fine. Usska naam... 'A' se shuru hota hain."

"Usska naam 'A' se shuru hota hain. Kaun ho sakta hain?" Anjali wanted to laugh out loud. She thought Atul would probably get the clue and know that it's him, but he wasn't even acknowledging the fact! But she loved him for what he was.

"Keep thinking." Anjali got up and left, leaving a confused Atul behind.

****

Atul entered Riddhima's cabin without knocking and Riddhima looked up, shocked.

"Atul. Kya hua? Tum aise kyun aaye ho?" Atul sat down and Riddhima sat on the seat beside him.

"Ridz. Mujhe tumhari help ki zaroorat hain."

"Kis baat ke liye?"

"Ridz. Abhi kuch daer pehle Anjali ne mujhse kaha ki jiss ladke se woh pyaar karti hain, usska naam 'A' se shuru hota hain. Aur mujhe yeh pata lagana hain ki yeh Mr. A kaun hain."

"Oh. Toh yeh baat hain." Riddhima fought back a smile that was threatening to show up any second.

"Haan. Please yaar Ridz. Meri help karo na."

"Hmm. Toh uss ladke ka naam 'A' se shuru hota hain?" Atul nodded.

"Haan. Aur woh issi office mein kaam karta hain."

"Haan. Toh Atul. Woh ladka tum bhi toh ho sakte ho na."

"Main kaise?"

"Dekho. Tumhara naam 'A' se shuru hota hain aur tum bhi toh issi office mein kaam karte ho. So can't it be you?" A smile started to form on Atul's lips as he realized this.

"Arre haan!" His smile started to fade as something else clicked in his mind. "Lekin yahaan toh kitne saare logo ka naam 'A' se shuru hota hain."

"Toh kya hua Atul? It's good to think positive."

"Lekin mujhe jaanna hain."

"Ab Atul, isska toh sirf ek hi ilaaj hain."

"Kya?"

"Tum Anji se apne dill ki baat keh do. Bina dare. I'm sure woh bhi tumse bohat pyaar karti hain. Aur yeh Mr. A tum hi ho. Ok?"

"Lekin Ridz. Mujhse yeh nahin hoga."

"Ek baar try karke toh dekho. Phir jo hoga, dekha jaayega."

"Haan. Woh toh hain. Thanks a lot Ridz. Tum hi meri sabse achhi dost ho. Baaki sab toh kisi kaam ke nahin. Ab main chalta hoon. Ok?"

"Ok. Bye." As soon as Atul left, Riddhima looked at the window and gave a thumbs up to Anjali, who stood there, watching everything that happened.

****

Armaan looked around in his cabin toh find his file, but couldn't find it anywhere. After a while, he realized that Riddhima had the file. He called her, but was surprised when no one picked up the phone.

"Yeh Riddhima kahaan gayi."

He went to Riddhima's cabin, but was really surprised not to see her anywhere.

"Riddhima?" He called out, hoping for her to come out, but she never did. "Lagta hain khud hi file dhoondni padegi." He started to look around, but didn't find his file anywhere. His eyes fell on the drawer and thought it'll be in there, so he opened it and searched. He didn't find the file, but the thing he found shocked him out of his wits. It was the same CCTV footages that had gone missing that day! He picked it up and looked at it, totally shocked.

"Yeh yahaan kaise? Yeh CDs Riddhima ke paas kya kar rahi hain?" In just a moment, he felt like the floor beneath him was snatched away. But he calmed his racing heart saying that someone framed him. After all, why would Riddhima want to do anything like that? With this thought in mind, he placed the CDs in an envelope. Just then, he heard the door open and composed himself. He knew how to figure out whether this was her doing or not.

"Sir? What are you doing here?" He turned around and saw a confused Riddhima.

"Woh, main Khurana's ki file lene aaya tha. Tum thi nahin toh socha ki main hi dhoond loon."

"Oh, ok." Just then her eyes fell on the envelope in his hand.

"What's that?" He brought his hand forth and looked at it.

"Woh... file dhoondte dhoondte mujhe yeh mill gaya."

"Kahaan tha yeh? Aur yeh hain kya?" He could tell Riddhima didn't know about this, but still tried his luck.

"Mujhe kaise pata hoga? Tumhare drawer mein. Khud hi dekh lo." Riddhima took the envelope and opened it. She took the CDs out and he watched as her eyes widened slightly. She turned completely pale and tiny beads of sweat broke out on her forehead. His heart started to race once again.

"Kya yeh tumhara hain? Agar nahin hain toh lao main phenk deta hoon." He hoped, no, he begged to God that she would say no, but her answer astounded him.

"Nahin! Yeh mera hain."

"Tumhara?"

"Haan. Woh, actually meri daadi ne bheja hain. Mere bachpan ke kuch videos. Yeh hi hain iss mein."

"Oh." That was all he could say. He went out of the cabin and he faintly heard her exhale. He went to his small bedroom and sat down on the bed. Joining his hands together, he started to think about just happened.

"Kya yeh tumhara hain? Agar nahin hain toh lao main phenk deta hoon."

"Nahin! Yeh mera hain."

"Tumhara?"

"Haan. Woh, actually meri daadi ne bheja hain. Mere bachpan ke kuch videos. Yeh hi hain iss mein."

Armaan knew she lied. It wasn't some stupid video her granny sent to her, it was the freakin footage that contained the proof of who the real culprit was! His heart almost stopped at the fact that it's Riddhima! He just couldn't believe it! But once again, he couldn't take any decision in haste. He had to do something. He had to see who it was in the CD. He had to talk to his brothers about this.

****

Medha

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