Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Chapter 22 : Dangerous Desire (AR)

Good or Bad?



A few days had passed ever since the car incident and Anushka's arrival. They had decided to extend the holiday to a week. After that incident, Rahul became a little quiet. He didn't care about himself, but what if something happened to Muskaan because of him? He would never forgive himself if something like that happened.


When Armaan, Atul and Abhi confronted him, he had completely broken down and told them about his ffears. Due to this, they decided to give everyone a little time to recuperate.


In the week, they went shopping and to some good places and then chilled out whenever they had time. They realized they really did need this break.




In this period, Armaan started to miss Riddhima even more. He missed her contagious laughter, her beautiful smile, big almond green eyes... he just missed her. He even started to hallucinate her. He would see her in others and sometimes even when no one was there. He thought he was going mad.


He wanted to keep himself busy in work, but couldn't as he had to spend most of his time with Anushka. He really didn't like how Anushka would cling onto him and would kiss him but when he would remember what Riddhima did, he would give in and momentarily forget her.


****


Riddhima woke up feeling the warm blinding rays of the Sun fall on her eyelids. She sat up rubbing her eyes and then stretched her body to shake off the sleep. She looked to the side to see Muskaan's bed empty and messed up. She was confused. Usually she would make her bed and then go to office. She got up and went to take a shower.


In a while she came out wearing a yellow churidaar and went to the kitchen to prepare her breakfast, only to see Muskaan already making breakfast for both of them.


"Muskaan?/ Tu office nahin gayi?"


"Haan. Hume ek week hi chhutti milli hain."


"Kyun?"


"Kuch din pehle Rahul ki car mein blast hua tha. Iss liye hume ek week ki chhutti milli hain."


"Kya?"


"Haan. Tum toh aaj kkal ghar mein hoti nahin ho. Iss liye tumhe kaise pata hoga?" Muskaan placed the breakfast on the table and sat down. Riddhima quietly joined her and had her breakfast.


"Aur waise bhi. Ab Anushka aa gayi hain toh obviously Armaan ko holiday toh leni hi padegi." Muskaan spread the butter on her toast and looked at Riddhima from the corner of her eye. Riddhima was confused.


"Anushka? Yeh kaun hain?"


"Anushka Sharma. US ki sabse badi business woman aur..." Riddhima became more curious.


"Aur? Aur kya?"


"Aur... Armaan ki fiance." She saw shock written all over her face, but she quickly recovered and lowered her gaze.


"Armaan ki fiance? Lekin ussne toh kabhi bhi Anushka ki baat nahin ki."


"Haan. Actually unn dono ki engagement do saal pehle hi ho gayi thi. Lekin phir kuch kaam ki vajaah se Anushka ko vapas jaana pada. Aur ab jab ke woh vapas aa gayi hain, toh kuch mahinon mein unki shaadi bhi ho jaayegi. Great na?" She looked at Riddhima and saw her lost in her own thoughts. She smiled slightly seeing the worry on Riddhima's face. She knew even Riddhima felt something for Armaan.


"Main chalti hoon. I need to go to my friend's house."


"Kaunsa friend?"


"You ask too many questions. Take a chill pill woman." She rolled her eyes and walked out of the house.


****


"Armaan! Do you want something?" Anushka shouted from the kitchen. She was making breatfast for everyone and was very excited.


"Yeah. Just give me a toast." He shouted back from the living room. He was flipping through the channels on the TV when a news caught his eyes. He went back to the previous channel and read the news. He quickly called the others and came in no time.


"Kya hua Bhai?" They looked at the screen and heard the reporter.



"Kal raat ko takriban gyaara baje ek bohat bade scandal ka parda faash hua hain. Kuch din pehle Diamond Enterprise ne Ahuja Companies ko apna ek bohat bada tender ka project diya tha. Dekhne mein toh yeh ek aam normal tender hain lekin isske asliyat, hume aaj pata chali hain. Business ki aad mein yeh log drugs ki smuggling kar rahe the. Yeh log kapdon ke andar drugs rakhte the aur harr desh mein pohanchaate the.


Jab humne police officers se poochha, toh unhone kaha ki unhe kisi ladki ka phone aaya tha. Ussne police officers ko isski information di aur jab usse poochha gaya ki woh hain kaun toh ussne phone hi kaat diya. Police ne yeh toh pata lagaane ki koshish ki ke woh ladki kaun thi, lekin jab ussi number par phirse phone kiya gaya, toh woh number existence mein hi nahin tha. Isska kya matlab ho sakta hain? Kya..."



"Oh my God! I can't believe this! Itna bada scandal!"


"I'm just glad ke hume yeh tender nahin mila. Warna toh bohat badi problem ho jaati."


"I know. Lekin woh ladki kaun thi?"


Armaan didn't listen to what the others were saying. He kept thinking about the mysterious caller. The same thing happened to him! This mysterious caller called him and told him to change the quotes because it would get Mallik Empires in big trouble... she saved Rahul and Muskaan's life... and what not. Who was she? He felt a little guilty. He kept cursing the person as it was because of her they had lost the tender, but he felt grateful as it was because of her they didn't get into a big trouble. But why wasn't she coming out? Why was she hiding like that? How was he supposed to find out who she was? Was she good or bad?


****



A tall, handsome man came out of his blue sports car and smiled seeing the Mallik Mansion. He spinned the keys around his finger and walked inside. Reaching the door, he rung the bell and waited patiently.


Armaan heard the bell ring and walked to the door. As soon as he opened the door, he saw the face he was waiting for and smiled lightly.


"Ranvir?"


"Yeah bro." He scrunched his brows together and then chuckled lightly. Both hugged each other and slapped each other on the backs. Armaan and Ranvir were best friends ever since school times. They went to the same college and even had the same classes. Later on, they separated as Armaan wanted to focus on his business career and Ranvir wanted to be a private detective. Now they were meeting after almost 2 years as he had to go on other trips. Now that Armaan had called him, he came back rushingly to help his friend.


"Seeing you after a long time. How are you?"


"I'm fine. I was waiting for you. Come in." They walked in and both sat down.


"Where are the other three? Man I was missing you all!"


"Let me call them." He called the trio down. They came down in a minute and a wide smile broke out on their faces and they hugged Ranvir.


"Ranvir! How are you man?"


"I'm fine dude."


"You've come her after a long time."


"Where have you been?"


"Well... I've been roaming around the world. I tell you it's damn cool!"


"Lucky!"


"Have you found anyone yet?"


"Dude. I'm not the marriage guy alright." They all laughed at this.


"Guys. I'm thirsty. Give me water!"


"Oye! Jaa kitchen mein jaa ke pee le." They chuckled seeing Ranvir's face.


"Meanies!" He got up and went up to the kitchen.


****


Ranvir walked in the kitchen and looked around. They had made a few changes here and there, but the kitchen was spacious and beautiful. He opened the fridge and tok out the jug of water and poured some water in the glass on the table. After drinking water, he started to walk out of the kitchen when suddenly Anushka bumped into him and in order to save her, he held her waist and held her against the pillar


Anushka gasped feeling an unknown man so close to her. She felt different for some strange reason. She didn't even know who the man was, yet she felt attracted to him. It was no different with Ranvir. Seeing Anushka, he felt like she was the most beautiful woman on Earth. He was strangely attracted to her.


"Ch-chhodo mujhe." She whispered. Ranvir snapped out of his thoughts and pulled away.


"I'm sorry. Woh... I didn't see you coming. I'm very sorry."


"It's okay." There was an awkward silence in the room. They were, surprisingly, finding it difficult to find words.


"Ok, I should leave now." Anushka smiled and nodded. Ranvir smiled and quickly left the kitchen to avoid more awkwardness.


"Ranvir! What the hell? Why were you staring at her like that? Have you lost it? She's probably gonna think you're some weird guy. Ugh! And you were stuttering in front of her? You're lost it dude!" She quickly went and sat in the living room with the others.


"Kya hua yaar? You took some time there."


"Yeah, woh... um... main... main..."


"Abe bakri ki tarah 'main-main' kya kar raha hain? Jaldi bol na!"


"Haan! Woh main bhul gaya tha ki kitchen kaha hain. Iss liye thoda kho gaya tha."


"Umm... Random much?" They chuckled at this.


"Dude. I'm coming here after a while now so obviously I'm gonna forget a few things."


"Yeah, true."


"So tell me Armaan. Did you find anything out?"


"Nope. Not much. But check out this news." He turned the TV on and Ranvir watched it carefully and with great interest.


"Wow. Seems like you got a well wisher."


"Yeah. And I wanna know who she is. And one more thing. The most important one." He now faced Ranvir and looked at him seriously. "I wanna know who dared to plant a bomb in my brother's car."


"Don't worry yaar."


"No Ranvir. If anyone dares to mess with my brothers, they'll have to face me. I won't tolerate anyone trying to hurt them. And if they do, I will kill them." Atul, Rahul and Abhi were extremely touched by this. They knew Armaan cared for them, but now they knew he would go to any extent for them. There was complete silence in the room as tension filled the air. Ranvir decided to lighten the atmosphere.


"Arre yaar. Tu toh kuch zyaada hi serious ho gaya hain. Maine kaha na you don't need to worry. Main sab sambhal lunga. And I'll find out who those people are. Okay?" Armaan smiled a little and nodded. They did a little catching up for a while when Anushka came in.


"Hey guys. Kisse baatein kar rahe ho?" She didn't see Ranvir as his back was facing her.


"Arre Anushka. Aao. Humare sabse achhe dost se millo. Anushka.

Yeh hain Ranvir and Ranvir. This is Anushka. Armaan's fiance." Ranvir turned around and was shocked to see the same girl he met a while back. Strangely, he felt bad to know that Anushka was Armaan's fiance. Nevertheless he stood up and forwarded his hand for a hand shake.


"Nice to meet you Anushka." She smiled a little.


"Same here." They didn't say anything but kept staring at each other.


"Guys! Tum log kya kar rahe ho? Aao baetho na!" said Atul. They nodded and sat down. The rest of the time was spent talking and pulling each other's leg.


****


The next day, everyone returned back to the office. They still felt Riddhima's absense, but then would forget her when they would resume their work. When the employees found about the tender news, they were shocked, but were glad they were saved and didn't receive the tender or else all of them would be in big trouble.


As of now, everyone was sitting together in the Armaan's cabin, discussing what to do about Armaan's secretary's post.


"Bhai, ek secretary ki toh tujhe zaroorat padhegi hi. Yeh sab akele tum nahin sambhaal paoge. You'll need someone to help you out."


"I know but it's hard to find a good secretary in such a short time. How are we gonna find one?"


"I don't know."


"I think it should be someone from the office itself that we know we can trust. Unlike Armaan's previous secretary, I don't want anyone that we're not that familiar with." Said Anushka.


"How do you know that?"


"Abhi and Rahul told me."


"Oh. But who should it be?" As they started to think about this, they heard a knock on the door.


"Come in." They saw Rohail come in with a file in his hands.


"Sir, aapne jo mujhe file complete karne ko di thi woh maine kar di hain."


"Hmm... yahaan rakh do."


"Yes Sir." He kept the file on the table and then left the cabin.


"Yeh kaun hain?"


"Rohail. Yahaan ka CEO." Anushka thought about something and an idea came in her mind.


"Guys, Rohail yahaan ka CEO hain. Aur woh Armaan ka kaam bohat achhe se jaanta hain. So why don't we make Rohail his secretary?"


"Idea bura nahin hain lekin agar woh Armaan ka secretary banega toh phir CEO ka kaam kaun sambhaalega?" said Anjali.


"I think he's capable enough to handle the two positions. What say?"


"Yeah, I think she's right. Waise bhi he's handled two positions before in the previous company he worked in. So I think he's great for the position." Said Armaan.


"But I think we should talk to Rohail about this. After all, handling two jobs isn't easy." Said Muskaan.


"Hmm. Let me call him." Armaan called Rohail and told him to come in his cabin. In a few minutes he came in.


"Yes Sir?"


"Rohail. As you know ab Riddhima yahaan nahin hain toh meri secretary ki post khaali hain. So we were wondering whether you would like to take this job up."


"Sir, main?"


"Haan. We think you're the most capable one here. So what do you think?"


"Umm... Sir... I'll be glad to take this up." He said with a smile.


"Great!" They discussed some things for a while and then he left.


"Chalo. Ab Armaan ki secretary ka tension toh khatam hua."


"Now I'll leave. I need to go work on a file."


"Yeah, me too. Bye guys. "


****


It was late at night and Muskaan was making Maggi as she didn't feel like making anything else or ordering something. Just then she saw Riddhima moving towards the door and called out.


"Ridz!" She stopped and turned around. "Kaha jaa rahi hain?"


"Apne ek friend se milne."


"Aisa kaunsa friend hain tera jisse main nahin jaanti. Aur abhi raat ke gyaara baj rahe hain. Itni raat ko kahin bhi jaane ki zaroorat nahin hain!"


"Muskaan. Will you stop ordering me! Mujhe jaana hain matlab jaana hain."


"Riddhima. Sach sach bata mujhe. Kya chal raha hain. Achaanak se tera yeh behavior kaise change ho gaya? Pehle toh tu aisi nahin. Saara time ghar se baahaar rehti hain. Puchhti hoon toh kehti hain bahaar kissi friend se milne jaa rahi hain. Kaun hain tera yeh friend? Huh? Aur tu-?" Before she could say anything further, he cell phone rang and she looked at Riddhima. "You're not going anywhere. I need to talk to you." She walked to the phone and answered it.


"Hello?"


"Muskaan?" It was Armaan.


"Yeah Armaan, bolo."


"Maine ho tumhe kaam diya tha woh pooura hua ya nahin?"


"Haan Armaan. Maine Rohail ke liye saare arrangements kar diye hain. Ab woh tumhara kaam aur CEO ki post ko baraabar sambhal paayega. Don't worry."


"Ok. Bye." She hung up and turned to Riddhima who suddenly seemed very interested.


"Yeh tum kya baat kar rahi thi? Rohail ke baare mein?"


"Woh... ab se Rohail Armaan ka secretary hain."


"WHAT?!" Muskaan was surprised at this. She looked angry, mad, and scared. She was thinking about something but Muskaan couldn't tell what.


"Riddhima. Kya chal raha hain? Bata mujhe!"


"Muskaan, kuch nahin hain."


"Tu jhooth bol rahi hain! Sach sach bata kya chal raha hain!"


"Bas Muskaan! Bohat hua! Ab phirse kuch kaha toh main..." She finally rose her voice and then left the house. Muskaan was hurt, but was not going to give up.


"Nahin Riddhima. Ab toh mujhe poora vishwaas ho gaya hain ki tum mujhse kuch chhupa rahi ho. Aur aaj main pata laga kar rahungi." She quickly took her purse and keys and then left the house.


****

Medha

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