Thursday, 12 September 2019

Chapter 9 : Dangerous Desire (AR)

Just Another Day

Riddhima was in her cabin, gathering the files, when her phone rang.

"Yes Sir?"

"Tum kahaan ho?  Project khatam nahin karna?" Riddhima looked angrily at the phone and spoke through gritted teeth.

"Sir.  Main aa rahi hoon.  Main bas files le rahi thi." Without even waiting for his response, she put the phone down.

"Yeh aadmi kya mujhe machine samajhta hain?  Ek saath kitne kaam karun?  Jee toh karta hain usske haddi-passli ek kar doon.  Humph!" She took the files and went inside his cabin.

She saw him working on his laptop and she walked to the desk.  She slammed the files on the desk, making him look at her.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"


"Maine kya kiya?" She asked innocently.

"Why did you slam the files?"

"Because I felt like it!"

"Forget it!  Mujhse galti ho gayi!  Ab yahaan aao." She rolled her eyes and pulled a seat next to him.  She watched him do the work on the laptop.  They finished the remaining part in about 30 minutes.

"Yes!  Finally kaam khatam ho gaya!" Riddhima smiled widely.  Armaan looked at her and found her really close.  Their eyes met and the smile on Riddhima's face slowly faded.  She again lowered her eyes feeling his gaze on her.  She looked into his eyes again.  This time, she didn't see the sorrow or concern in his eyes.  There was only one thing-admiration.

A soft gush of breeze entered the room.  Both were in a trance.  Everything else around them started to fade.  His eyes were like a magnet which were pulling Riddhima closer and closer.  She felt like she was drowning in his eyes.

Riddhima was the first one to break the eye lock.  She blinked a few times and lowered her gaze.  She tried to move away from there but her curls got stuck in the buttons of his shirt, which pulled her back to him.  She landed on his chest and his hands went around her waist on an impulse, making her gasp.  She looked away from him and started to detangle her hair whereas Armaan's eyes were only on her.

The way she would look into his eyes, lower her gaze due to shyness, her gasps... he was liking it all.  He tried but couldn't tear his eyes away from her.  All he wanted to do was keep her in front of his eyes.  He wanted to see every single move she makes.  He wanted to see if he had an effect on her.  He took in her beautiful fragrance which did nothing, but add to his desires.

She was successful in detangling her hair from him and looked at him.  He was still gazing at her intently.  She wanted to get up but his grip around her waist prevented her from doing so.

"Armaan." She called him softly, expecting him to come out of his trance, but it didn't.  "Ar-Armaan." She called a little loudly and he came out of his trance.  He realized what position they were in.  He removed his hand off her waist and she stood up, trying to set her dupatta right.

"I- I'm sorry." She spoke in a low voice but he heard her.

"Hmm.  Tum ek kaam karo.  Ghar ko banaane ke liye jitne bhi equipments aur resources chahiye, usski ek detailed list bana do aur mujhe shaam tak de do.  Ok?"

"Yes Sir." Gathering the files, she went to her cabin and started to work on what was assigned to her.

                                                                  ****

For about 45 minutes, Riddhima constantly worked on the project.  She put the pen down and stretched her body out, relaxing her muscles.

"Hey Krishna.  Maine toh kabhi nahin socha tha ki mujhe itna kaam karna padega.  Lekin Riddhu, kaam hain.  Karna toh padega." Sighing to herself, she picked up the pen and started to write.

Just then, she heard a knock on the door.  The door opened and Rohail came in with a big smile.

"Can I come in?"

"Arre Rohail?  Come in!" He smiled widely and took a seat in front of Riddhima.  "So what brings you here?"

"Bas aise hi.  I was getting bored so thought of coming here."

"Sahi kiya.  Main bhi bohat bore ho rahi thi."

"So what you doing?"

"This little thing that Sir gave me."

"Wow.  That seems fun."

"I know." Both chuckled.

"You want me to help you?"

"You seriously gotta ask me?"

"Alrighty." He helped a little with the work and then both talked a lot afterwards.

At the same time, Armaan caught the glance of Riddhima and Rohail laughing with each other.  He felt a tug at his heart seeing the two together.  For some reason, he wasn't really liking the closeness between the two.  Seeing them together was not giving him a good feeling.  He wanted to pull him out and place himself in there.  But why?  He picked up the phone and called her. 

He saw her laugh fading and finally picking the phone up.

"Yes Sir?"

"Mere cabin mein aao."

"Yes Sir." He saw her saying something to Rohail and then moving towards the door.  He heard a knock on the door.

"Come in." She entered the room and stood in front of him.

"Yes Sir?"

"Maine jo tumhe kaam diya tha usse complete kiya?"

"Nahin.  Bas thoda hi baaki hain.  Usse main abhi-"

"Kaam khatam nahin hua lekin tum apne doston ke saath gossip kar rahi thi?"

"Excuse me?  Sabse pehli baat toh yeh hain ki main Rohail ke saath gossip nahin kar rahi thi.  Aur doosri baat toh yeh hain ki tumne mujhe aaj shaam tak ka time diya tha-"

"Jo maximum tha.  Tum nayi ho iss liye tumhe itna time diya.  Warna toh yeh kaam ek ghante mein hi ho jaata.  Yeh extra time gossip ke liye nahin hain."

"Really?  Agar aisi baat hain toh mujhe yeh extra time kyun diya?  Jitna kaam experienced log karte hain utna kaam toh main bhi kar sakti hoon."

"Well then congrats Ms. Gupta.  You just earned yourself some more work." He got up and handed her some files.  "I want them finished by 6 today." Riddhima's mouth flew open.

"That's impossible!"

"Impossible?  Yeh word meri dictionary mein nahin hain." Riddhima crossed her arms together.  "Kyun?  Kya hua Ms. Gupta?  Haar maan li?" Riddhima glared at him.  She walked forward, never breaking the eye contact.  Armaan moved back on an impulse.  The look in her eyes was scaring him.  His back hit the wall and he glanced behind him before looking at Riddhima.  She placed one of her hands beside him and leaned forward.

"Ek baat dhyaan se sun lo.  Riddhima Gupta ne kabhi haar maana nahin seekha.  Alright?" She moved away from him and went to her cabin after getting the files, leaving an amuzed Armaan behind.

Riddhima Gupta had just managed to shut him up by cornering him?  No one in the world had ever done that!  Normally it would be him doing that!  And on top of that, she had managed to scare him, even if it was just slightly!

"Yeh ladki khud ko samajhti kya hain?  Mujhe challenge kiya?  Let's see yeh kaise apna kaam karti hain.  Mujhe challenge karna tumhe bohat bhaari padega." His glare pierced through the window reaching Riddhima.

                                                                 ****

Abhi was in his cabin thinking about what he had said to Armaan.

Maine jo Bhai se kaha, kya woh sahi tha?  Meri iss baat se usse kitni takleef huyi hogi.  Lekin ussne jo kiya usska kya?  Aur waise bhi.  Mere kuch bhi kehne se usse koi farak nahin padega.  Itne saal se yeh hi toh koshish ki hain.

"Armaan ke baare mein soch rahe ho?" He opened his eyes hearing Niki's voice.  She stood there with crossed arms.

"Niki?  Tum kab aayi?"

"Jab tum Armaan ke baare mein soch rahe the." She sat down and looked at him.  He was looking down.

"Tumne Armaan se jo kaha, usske baare mein soch rahe ho?" He immediately looked up with shock written all over his face.

"Tumhe kaise pata?"

"Main yahin khadi thi.  Sab sunna maine."

"Jab pata hain toh poochh kyun rahi ho?"

"Abhi.  Tum aisa kyun karte ho?  Armaan ko wapas laane ke liye?"

"Haan.  Lekin... uss par toh kuch asar hi nahin hota.  He's become a stone hearted person.  Usske andar koi feelings nahin hain." He stood up.

"Aisa tumhe lagta hain.  Abhi... Armaan ke andar aaj bhi woh saari feelings, woh saare emotions hain.  Lekin woh unhe bahaar nahin laata.  Woh apni feelings jataata nahin, usska yeh matlab nahin hain ki woh kuch feel nahin karta.  Abhi, Armaan ko tumhe nafrat se nahin, pyaar se wapas laana padega." She went to him and turned him around.  Cupping his face, she explained everything.  "Ok?" He nodded.  He immediately pulled her into a tight hug, taking her by surprise.

"Niki... I'm so glad ki tum meri life mein ho.  Agar tum nahin hoti toh pata nahin mera kya hota.  You're my bestest friend." Niki's eyes welled up, but she still smiled through her tears.

"Friend..." She whispered so quietly that Abhi couldn't hear her.

I wish main tumhe bata sakti... ke tum mere liye... ek dost se kahin zyaada ho.

                                                      ****

Atul was thinking of an excuse of bringing Anjali in the cabin.  He had finally gathered some courage to tell Anjali what he felt about her.

"Kya karun?  Anjali ko kaise bulaoon?"

An idea immediately popped into his mind.  He immediately picked up the phone and called Anjali.  She entered the room in a few minutes and Atul just stopped breathing.  She wore a simple, yet elegant flowy black dress, which enhanced her beauty.

"Beautiful" The word escaped his lips without his permission and he wished Anjali didn't hear it but she did.  She fought the blush that was threatening to show up on her cheeks.

"Yes Sir?" He came out of his thoughts and fumbled with words.

"Um... woh... main... tumhe... uh... woh... haan.  Woh... mujhe tumhari advise chahiye thi."

"Kiss baat ke liye?"

"Arre... tum baetho na." Slightly frowning to herself, she sat down.

"Bolo." Atul sighed and stood up.

"Woh... Anjali... baat yeh hain... ki mujhe... I think mujhe..." He paused and threw a glance at her over his shoulder. "Pyaar ho gaya hain." Her head shot up at his words.

"Wh-what?"

"Haan.  Ek ladki hain... jo mere dill, dimaag pe chha gayi hain.  Harr waqt mujhe sirf ussi ka khayal rehta hain.  Jab se woh meri zindagi mein aayi hain, tab se meri zindagi aur bhi hasseen ho gayi hain.  She makes me want to be a better person.  Jab bhi usse dekhta hoon... toh uss par se apni nazrein nahin hatta paata.  Jab woh paas hoti hain toh dill chahta hain ki usse baahon mein le loon aur apne se door na jaane doon.  Kya yeh pyaar nahin hain?" He turned around and looked at Anjali.  She had her head down and was looking lost.

"Anjali?  Kya hua?" Anjali looked up at him startled.  Composing herself, she tried to be normal.

"Ku-kuch bhi toh nahin."

"Toh tumhe kya lagta hain?"

"K-kiss baare mein?"

"Arre!  Uss ladki ke baare mein."

"Oh.  Um... I-I think ke tumhe usse bata dena chahiye."

"Hain na?  Mujhe bhi yeh hi lagta hain." He said with a huge smile on his face.

"W-waise... y-yeh... ladki... kaun hain?"

"Jaanna chahti ho?."

"Um... nahin.  It-It's your decision." Anjali let out a small forced smile. "I-I'll be back." She left the cabin in hurry, leaving a confused Atul behind.

Anjali ko kya hua?  Woh aise achaanak chali kyun gayi?  Main aaj finally usse sab bataana chahta tha lekin... Kya woh mujhse pyaar nahin karti?

                                                                ****

Armaan was in his cabin, waiting for it to be 6:00.  He was damn sure that Riddhima won't be able to complete the files.  It was something she couldn't do.

"Bohat ud rahi thi na tum Ms. Riddhima Gupta.  Let's see tumne kitna kaam complete kiya hain." He went to the window and opened the blinds.  Since he used mirrored windows, he could see Riddhima clearly, but she couldn't see him.  He saw her working on one of the files.  He couldn't tell which one she was working on, but he knew she was completely engrossed in her work.

A frown adored her face as she read the details inside the file.  She was twirling her hair with the pen.  'Cute' was the word to describe her.  His eyes fell on her lips.  Those rosy, tempting petals which were being chewed on mercilessly.  He wanted to stop her so bad.  Realizing where his thoughts were going, he closed the blinds and sat down on his chair.  It was 5:45.

After 15 minutes, he called her into his cabin.  She entered with her head down and files in her hand.  Armaan smirked to himself.

"So Ms. Riddhima.  Kaam ho gaya?  Did you finish all the files?" Riddhima kept quiet.  "Give me the files." She layed the files on the table and Armaan started to go through the files.  One by one, he checked every file and was left baffled.  A frown had replaced the smirk.  He looked up at Riddhima and saw a victorious smirk playing on her lips.

"You finished all the files?"

"What do you think?"

"But, how?"

"Simple.  Mujhe yeh sab aata hain.  School aur college mein main yeh hi toh karti thi.  So it's not that difficult for me." She leaned forward on the table and looked him directly in the eye.  "Kaha tha na maine.  Riddhima Gupta, kissi se nahin darti.  Aur tumse toh bilkul bhi nahin.  Aainda se mujhe kabhi bhi challenge karne ki koshish matt karna.  Haar jaoge." She said with a small smirk and he glared at her.  She winked at him and left the cabin with a wide smile on her face.  Armaan was flabbergasted.

What's in this girl?  Why does she always prove me wrong?  Why does she always do the opposite of what I think?  Why?

Medha

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