Thursday, 26 September 2019

Chapter 23 : Dangerous Desire (AR)

Normal?

Muskaan saw Riddhima taking her scooty and wearing her helmet. She sat on the scooty and drove off. As soon as she left, Muskaan stopped a rickshaw and told the driver to follow her. Muskaan followed her for about half an hour when she saw her stoping at an unknown and vacant place.

Muskaan stopped the rickshaw and went after Riddhima after paying the driver. She saw Riddhima walking inside the park. She was looking for someone and saw a man coming towards her. They started to talk and Muskaan, who was hiding behind a tree, heard everything. She was totally shocked at the new discovery.

"Riddhima?" She whispered. Riddhima gasped and turned around with wide eyes.

"M-Muskaan. Tum yahaan kya kar rahi ho?"

"Why did you do this?" Riddhima looked away and didn't say anything.

"TELL ME DAMN IT!"

****



The next day, it was announced in the office that Rohail was Armaan's secretary and he was going to handle his work. The employees were unhappy with this decision as they didn't want anyone else to take their beloved Riddhima's place, but somewhere they knew this was bound to happen.

****

Armaan sat in his cabin, working on his laptop when Anushka came in.

"Armaan! Tum bhi na! Saara din kaam, kaam, kaam. Chalo. Chhodo isse." She closed the laptop, ignoring his protests and sat on his lap with her hands around his neck.

"Armaan. Chalo na. Kahin baahaar chalte hain."

"Where do you want to go?" He asked nonchalantly.

"Shopping!" She said excitedly.

"Lekin kuch din pehle hi toh hum gaye the na?"

"I know, lekin woh toh kapdon ki shopping ke liye thi na. Aaj mujhe jewelries leni hain. Please Armaan. Chalo na. Pleaase."

"Ok, fine. I'll come."

"Yes! I love you Armaan!" She pecked his lips and quickly went out of the cabin.

****

Anushka and Armaan were roaming around in the mall, looking for good jewelries. Well... it's mostly Anushka who was looking around. Armaan was just following her around as he didn't have anything else to do.

They entered a shop and Anushka sat on a stool.

"Bhaiya. Ek achha sa necklace dikhaaye."

"Ji." He took out some beautiful necklaces and layed them on the counter.

"Yeh dekhiye. Sab ek se badkar ek hain." Anushka looked at all of them.

"Wow! Yeh saare toh bohat achhe hain! Lekin inn sab mein se main kaunsa chunoon? Armaan. Help me na!" She shook him and he looked at the necklaces.

There was one necklace that caught his eyes. It was a delicate white gold necklace which had a beautiful heart dangling in the middle. As he looked closer, he noticed there were 3 diamonds stud in there which made it look extraordinary. Somehow it reminded him of Riddhima. This necklace would look beautiful on her. He imagined himself putting the necklace around her neck and her smiling her beautiful angelic smile. He snapped out of his thoughts hearing his name being called.

"Armaan! Kya soch rahe ho? Batao na kaunsa waala achha hain!" He looked at her and silently reprimanded himself for thinking about Riddhima. He looked at the other necklaces and randomly picked out another one.

"I think yeh waala achha hain." He said and looked away.

Anushka was confused. She had seen him staring at that one necklace and then getting lost in his own thoughts with a sly, unnoticable smile on his lips. Then why did he choose a random one for her? She knew he didn't like that one. It wasn't like that necklace wasn't good. It was very beautiful and something that she would like, but she still couldn't help but wonder why he did that. When Armaan wasn't looking, she bought the one that Armaan handed her and the one he was looking at.

While Anushka was busy giving money to the shop person, Armaan felt a gush of wind go through him. He had a feeling that Riddhima was there. She was right there, somewhere near him. But where? He looked around and saw a few women here and there, but one figure caught his eyes. There was this woman in burkha who was pretending to browse the things in front of him, but her eyes kept going towards Armaan. Armaan found strange. He observed her eyes. They were green, just like Riddhima. Wait. Was that Riddhima?

As soon as she saw Armaan looking at her, she quickly moved out of the shop, which intrigued Armaan. As he got off the stool, Anushka looked at him.

"Armaan. Kahaan jaa rahe ho? Abhi toh earrings lena baaki hain."

"Actually I need to go use the restroom." He lied and she agreed with it.

"Oh, okay. But jaldi aana ok?" He nodded and went out of the shop, following her.

"Hey! Ruko!" Armaan called out but she kept walking at a normal, yet quick speed. Her eyes kept darting around, trying to find something. Armaan kept calling her, but she didn't stop. She saw a clothing shop and quickly got in there.

The place was immensely crowded so he lost track of her, but kept looking around. He saw her taking a churidaar and then walking towards the changing room. He called out for her again and this time he saw her looking at him over her shoulder so he knew she knew he was following her. She went inside the changing room and tried to close the door, but Armaan stopped it and got in. Locking the door, he grabbed her by her shoulders and pinned her to the wall, while she looked at him with wide eyes as removed her face veil in a fraction of a second.

Armaan almost stopped breathing seeing Riddhima there. He didn't know whether to be happy seeing her or be angry because he was seeing her after what seemed like ages. He felt bad seeing her. She had changed a little in these few days. She looked very weak. It seemed as if she hadn't slept properly for a long time. She had even lost weight. What had happened to her?

Neither of them spoke. All they could hear was their heartbeats, which increased rapidly and their uneven breathings. They had become indifferent to the rest of the world. Time seemed to stop in its place. They just stared deeply into each others eyes without blinking once.

Slowly, he moved closer to her, pressing his strong, masculine body against her small, delicate one. She closed her eyes feeling him so close to her. His warm breath kissed her lips, ordering them to part for him. He tilted his head and moved his face closer to hers. He moved his nose against her cheeks, making her twitch. He circled his arm around her waist and brought her closer, if possible. She gasped feeling her front being pressed by his strong chest.

"Armaan." She whispered. The heat was getting unbearable for her second by second. She held onto his shoulder for support. She was sure she would collapse any moment with him so close to her. She opened her eyes and looked into his. Realizing what they were doing, she pushed him away from her.

"What are you doing?" Armaan remembered the reason he followed her and pulled her close by her waist.

"Leave me!" She struggled to get out of his arms, but his grip was too strong for her.

"What are you doing here? Mujh par nazar rakh rahi thi?"

"Have you lost it or what? Main tum par nazar kyun rakhungi?"

"Toh phir tum yahaan kya kar rahi ho?"

"Mr. Mallik. Yeh ek shopping mall hain. So obviously main yahaan par shopping karne aayi hoon."

"Oh really? Iss burqe mein tum shopping karne aayi ho?"

"Toh? Main churidaar pehnoon ya burqa. Isse kya farak padta hain?"

"Really? Aur jab main tumhe bula raha tha toh tum ruki kyun nahin?"

"Iss mall mein roz hazaar log aate hain. Mujhe kaise pata hoga ki tum mujhe bula rahe ho?"

"Don't lie! I know tum jaanti thi ke man tumhe bula raha tha."

"Whatever. Now will you please leave. Anushka tumhara wait kar rahi hogi." He realized Anushka was here too. But wait. How did Riddhima know about her?"

"Tum Anushka ke baare mein kaise jaanti ho?" She stopped struggling and looked away, trying to find an answer and then looked back at him.

"Muskaan ne bataaya. Ab khush? Now leave me. Warna agar maine chilaaya, toh phir tumhara kya anjaam hoga yeh tum jaante ho." They glared at each other. Armaan left her with a jerk and walked out of the changing room. Riddhima sat down on the chair that was in there and held her head. She quickly took her cell phone out and called someone.

"Hello?"

"Muski. Kaam ho gaya. Now you know what you have to do."

"Yeah. Don't worry. Everything's gonna go according to our plan."

"Hope so. Now I'm gonna go before they find me. Okay. Bye." She hung up and wore her face veil and then walked out.

****

It was night time and the Mallik brothers were still in the office, finishing up some important work. Whereas the others were talking about the work, Armaan was busy thinking about his moment with Riddhima.

That girl was so confusing! One moment she would respond to his touch and the next she would push him away and behave like he's some stranger and she hates him. Why was doing that? He still wasn't satified with her answers. He knew she wasn't there to shop. If she was, where were her bags? She had nothing with her. No purse, no bags, nothing. And a burqa? Why would she even want to wear a burqa when going to a shopping mall? That was not normal!

"Armaan. Kya soch rahe ho?" He looked at Anjali.

"Kuch nahin. Woh... kaam ke baare mein kuch soch raha tha."

"Oh."

"Lekin tum itne worried kyun lag rahe ho?"

"Is anything wrong?"

"No, it's nothing."

"Ok. But if you want to share something, we're always here you know."

"Yeah." They resumed their work and discussed about what they should do. Just then, Muskaan barged into the cabin, making everyone jump in there seats.

"Muskaan! Kya hua?"

"Guys. Jaldi warehouse mein aao."

"Lekin Muskaan baat kya hain?"

"Abih kuch matt puccho guys! Just come with me! Everything's gone wrong!" Seeing Muskaan's worried face, they quickly went to the warehouse. When they reached there, they got the shock of their lives.

****

They saw about 6 people in the warehouse. They were loading things into a truck and were being supervised by none other than Rohail.

"Rohail?" whispered Armaan. They saw another person walking towards Rohail. He turned around.

"Hey dude! What's up?" They hugged each other.

"I'm fine yaar. Kitne dinon ke baad mill raha hoon tumse. How are you?"

"I'm fine." He smiled with a smile.

"Hmm... sab theekh se ho raha hain na?"

"Koi shaq?"

"Nope." He finally turned around and they were shocked seeing Devraaj.

"Kal subah ko Armaan Mallik apni barbaadi ka nazaara dekhega." Both laughed at this.

"Not so soon Devraaj!" They saw Riddhima right behind them and were shocked.

"Riddhima? What are you doing here?"

"Tumhe rokne aayi hoon." They laughed at this.

"Tum hume rokogi? You?"

"Haan. Agar aaj tak rokti aayi hoon toh aaj kyun nahin rok paaungi Mr. Devraaj Ahuja?" The others were confused. What was she talking about? The saw Devraaj signal a person behind her through his eyes. That guy nodded and carefully moved towards her with an axe in his hands. Just when he was about to hit her Armaan came and held the axe. The guy turned around and saw Armaan looking at him in pure anger. Taking the axe from him, he hit him on the head with the other end, making him unconscious.

"Armaan?"

"Yes Devraaj."

"Tum yahaan kya kar rahe ho?" Armaan walked towards him.

"Yeh jagah meri hain. Main yahaa jab chaahe aa sakta hoon. And I'm glad main yahaan aaya. Otherwise I'd never find out how low a b*****d like you can go." Devraaj became angry and punched him. The others saw this and came out.

"Hey!" Devraaj became even more angry seeing the others present there.

"Get them!" He ordered his men and they started to hit the others.

Here, Devraaj tried to punch Armaan, but he blocked his hit and punched him several times in return. Riddhima saw Rohail take out a knife from his backpocket and move towards Armaan, but before he could stab him Riddhima took a bat that laid there and hit him on the head.

Armaan turned around to see Rohail lying on the ground and Riddhima standing there. Both shared an eye lock. Riddhima suddenly saw Devraaj come and broke the eye lock.

"Watch out Armaan!" He swiftly turned around and back-slapped him.

On the other hand, about 2 people were already on the ground and soon another one fell due to Abhi.

"Abe kutte kamine! Chori kar raha hain? Yeh le!" Muskaan punched a guy and he fell down.

"Good job Muskaan!" said Rahul.

"Thanks! Oye, fight pe dhyaan de!" A guy was about to hit Rahul, but he ducked and punched him in the stomach.

"Oye jhaannum ke keere. Tu mujhe maarega? Yeh le. Aur maar kha!" Niki punched the guy in the chest which knocked his breath out.

Soon the other bhaade ka tattoos were down on the ground and they ran up to Armaan, only to see him beating the pulp out of Devraaj and Riddhima dealing with Rohail with a bat.

"Marr jaaniya! Tu mera kaam tamaam karega? Saale tere jaise hazaar mushtandon ko dhul chaataayi hain iss Riddhima Gupta ne. Toh tu kis khet ki mulli hain saale kamine!" This time, she kicked Rohail in between his legs and it doesn't take much to guess what condition he was in.

Armaan and Devraaj stopped fighting as they heard police sirens. In a second or two, they saw police coming out of the jeep along with Ranvir.

"Over there!" He pointed at Devraaj.

"Gaytonde! Sabko pakad ke jeep ke andar daalo!" Devraaj tried to run away, but Armaan caught him and literally tossed him over to the police.

"Thank you Mr. Mallik. Now we'll take everyone."

"Lekin aap sab ko bulaaya kisne?"

"Riddhima ji ne." They looked at Riddhima, who smiled lightly at them.

"Okay. Ab hum chalte hain. Thank you Ms. Riddhima." She gave them a nod and they went away.

As they went away, Riddhima felt her head getting heavy. She felt like everything around her was spinning. She shook her head to remove the dizzy feeling, but it instead increased. She held her head to stop the feeling, but couldn't. Anushka saw this and became worried.

"Riddhima? Are you okay?" Everyone looked at Riddhima and became alert seeing her like that. Suddenly everything went black in front of her eyes and she collapsed in Armaan's arms.

"Riddhima!" Everyone exclaimed and came closer to her.

"Oh God. Yeh toh behosh ho gayi hain."

"We should go to the hospital. Sab ko bohat chot lagi hain." They agreed to this and went to their cars.

Armaan picked Riddhima up in his arms. He stared at her for a moment. All of a sudden the rain started pouring down on them, but Armaan didn't move his eyes off her. He could stare at her forever, but thought otherwise. He walked to the car and placed her in the backseat beside the other girls. Quickly getting into the driver's seat, he drove off to the nearby hospital- Sanjeevni.

When they reached the hospital, the first thing they did was get attention for Riddhima and after they took her, they took care of their wounds. After a while, the doctor came out and told them that Riddhima fainted because of weakness. She didn't get proper meals and enough sleep for a long time and she had been running around a lot. When they asked the doctor, he told them she'll wake up in about an hour or so as she was getting food through tubes. They surely were confused because they didn't know what happened in the past few days, but knew they'll only get their answers from Riddhima who was deep in sleep right now. Till then, they decided to get some food themselves.

****

Medha

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