Sunday, 13 October 2019

Chapter 39 : Dangerous Desire (AR)

The 'Guest'

"Riddhima!  Hurry up!  We want more here!"

"Abhi!  If you yell that one more time, I swear you won't recognize your face in the mirror!  Chill!" Riddhima yelled back at Abhi.  It was breakfast time and everyone was sitting at the table, waiting for Riddhima to bring more food to them, which was really irritating Riddhima.

A few weeks had passed since Armaan had finally decided to break the walls around him to a certain extent.  So many things had changed since that night.  The house where you could barely hear any noises from was now the home to laughter and happiness.  A great change was seen in Armaan.  Instead of being all sad and gloomy like he normally would be, Armaan actually appeared to be very happy.  He spent every second of the day with his brothers which meant total chaos in Mallik Mansion.  They were acting like total kids playing football, watching TV constantly while stuffing popcorn in their mouths and what not!  In all this, they made Riddhima's life really hard as more than half the time she was stuck in the kitchen, making food for them and it was the same right now.  Now they were sitting at the breakfast table, waiting for Riddhima to bring more food for them. 



"Yeh lo!  Thusso!" Riddhima said angrily and slammed the tray on the table, startling everyone.

"Oye.  Riddhima.  Tumhe kya hua?  Gussa ho kya baby?" Riddhima gave him a glance and put on a tight sugary smile.

"Nahin nahin.  Gussa kaun hain?  Koi gussa nahin hain.  Bas main pichhle do ghante se tum sab ke liye gadhon ki tarah khana bana rahi hoon jisske vajah se mere haathon mein headache ho gaya hain.  Bas isse zyaada kuch nahin hua!" she said the last part glaring at all them.  The next minute, Armaan started laughing.

"Hahahaha." Riddhima turned her head to him and gave him a hard, nasty glare, making him shut up immediately and look down at his plate.

"Sorry yaar Ridzi.  Lekin kya karein.  Tum itna achha khana banati ho ki jee karta hain ki mann karta hain ki-" Atul started but was interrupted by Riddhima.

"Ki harr waqt khaata hi rahun.  Haina?" Atul gave her a sheepish smile while Riddhima just rolled her eyes.

"Oye.  Riddhima.  Kya naye saal ke pehle din itna gussa kar rahi ho?  Chalo.  Bhaetho aur jaldi jaldi khana khao." Said Rahul.  Riddhima looked at him and saw him smile at her which she returned and sat down.  Very soon they finished their food and went to the living room to watch a movie.  They had decided yesterday that they'll watch a movie in the morning, go for some shopping in the afternoon and then go out for dinner at night.  Even before they knew, Anjali, Muskaan and Nikki had arrived and now everyone was seated on the comfy sofas.

"Don 2!"

"DDLJ!"

"DON 2"

"DDLJ!"

"OYE KAMINI!  KAHA NA DDLJ DEKHENGE!"

"NAHIN!  HUM DON HI DEKHENGE!"

Wondering what was happening?  Well lets see.  Riddhima and Muskaan were fighting over the movies while the others stared at them with a wide smile on their faces.  Riddhima wanted to watch Don 2 but Muskaan was dying to watch DDLJ.

"Dekh Riddhima.  Maine kaha na hum DDLJ dekhenge.  Kitne din ho gaye maine DDLJ nahin dekha!"

"Lekin Muski DDLJ humne pata nahin kitni baar dekha hain!  Aur Don toh abhi kuch din pehle hi release huyi hain.  Toh hume Don hi dekhna chahiye na!"

"Lekin Don hum baad mein bhi toh dekh sakte hain."

"Toh DDLJ bhi toh baad mein dekh sakte hain!"

"Lekin tere saath thodi dekhungi!  Tu yahaan hain aur main vahaan.  Kaise chalega?"

"Toh phir tu bhi yahaan aaja naa!"

"Kaise aaun?!  Rahul merese shaadi karega toh main yahaan..." Muskaan suddenly stopped talking as she realized what she just said.  Slowly, she turned her face towards Rahul and she could swear her heart skipped a beat seeing him looking at her with a smile and lots of love and passion in his eyes.  She became conscious of her surroundings and ran to the kitchen to save herself from further embarassment.  As soon as she left Riddhima turned to Rahul.

"Oye Rahul.  Ab aur kya baaki reh gaya hain?  Meri behen se kab shaadi kar rahe ho?" Rahul, who was looking at the kitchen, spoke up.

"Jab bhi woh kahe." Everyone smiled at this and Nikki spoke up.

"Toh Rahul tum kiss baat ka intezaar kar rahe ho?  Go propose your girl yaar!"

"Haan Rahul.  Muskaan pata nahin kabse iss ka intezaar kar rahi hain.  Go now!" said Anjali.  Rahul nodded and walked to the kitchen.  As he entered the kitchen, he saw Muskaan standing in front of the counter with her back facing him.

"Muskaan." He said her name and heard her gasp the next moment.  Very slowly, she turned around and he was surprised seeing her face tomato red.  He slowly walked up to her and looked at her closely.  He placed his finger under her chin and made her look into her eyes.  "Itni jaldi hain meri dulhan banne ki?  Hmm?" Muskaan lowered her gaze and nodded with a shy smile.  He smiled widely and kneeled in front of her with his hand extended towards her.

"Ms. Muskaan Chaddha.  I know yeh bohat hi... weird time hain tumhe propose karne ka.  I mean... it's not all fancy and stuff.  Lekin main tumse... bohat karta hoon.  Main tumhare saath apni zindagi bitaana chahta hoon.  Muskaan Chaddha.  Kya tum... iss kaan khujare ke saath apni poori zindagi bitaane ko tayaar ho?  Will you marry me?" Muskaan was in tears by now.  This was the most important day of her life.  The love of her life just proposed her!  With tears brimming in her eyes, she smiled widely and nodded.

"Yes yes yes.  I will marry you!" She smiled widely and made him stand and hugged him tight.  "I love you Rahul.  I love you very very very much!" she kissed his cheek and he hugged her tighter.  All of a sudden, they heard claps coming from around them and knew they had witnessed the entire scene.

"Buzz off guys!  We need some private moments here!" Rahul yelled at them, making everyone giggle in amazement.

"Finally.  They're together." Riddhima said with a smile, unaware of Armaan's eyes which were observing every expression on her face.

He had seen the way her eyes sparkled when Rahul kneeled in front of her and proposed her.  He had seen the way a soft dreamy smile had formed on her lips when Muskaan hugged Rahul.  He couldn't help but notice the way her lips would curve up with happiness and how a small, cute dimple would form beside her lips.  She had no clue what she had done to him.  After the showdown at the office, he couldn't help but be thankful to her for knocking sense into his stupid mind.  She made him realize what he had lost in his life and what he was losing.  The way she changed his life in a matter of few days was astonishing but he wasn't complaining.

"Yes they are." He said looking directly at her and she turned to look at him with a smile, which soon faded.  Why did he have to look at her like that?  Not able to stand those passionate eyes, she looked away and felt her heart pounding once again.

****

A big convertible stopped in front of Mallik Mansion and the door of the car opened.  A tall girl stepped out and looked at the house with a smile. 

"So Mr. Mallik.  I'm back." With a big smile she closed the door and walked up to the door.  Very elegantly, she ringed the bell and after a moment the door was opened by Armaan.  As soon as he saw the girl in front of him, his eyes widened and smile formed on his lips. 

"Oh my God!  You're back!" he exclaimed.

"Yes Mr. Armaan Mallik.  Jennifer is back!"


A big smile formed on his lips as he heard her and immediately hugged her.

"Oh my God Jenny!  Tum kitne saalon ke baad aayi ho!  Tum humme toh jaise bhul hi gayi thi na." Armaan complained as he broke away from her.

"Whatever!  Tum bhi toh humme bhul gaye!  At least hum tumhe call toh karte the.  Tum toh bilkul hi bhul gaye hume!  Aur ab toh mujhe andar bhi nahin bula rahe.  Theek hain.  Main chali jaati hoon." She turned and started to leave but Armaan stopped her.

"Sorry meri maa.  Ab andar aao!" Jennifer turned around with a smile.

"Chalo!" she happily entered the house and Armaan closed the door behind them.  They walked to the living room and saw everyone laughing on something Abhi said.

"Hey guys!" Jennifer greeted them in a very cheerful voice, making them look up and a smile immediately formed on their faces.

"Jenny!" Everyone except for Riddhima and Muskaan yelled her name and hugged her tight, almost knocking her breath out.

"How are you girl?" Nikki asked happily.

"God Jennifer.  You won't believe it but we missed you so much yaar."

"Aww Anji, trust me.  I missed you too sweetheart lekin hum vahaan itne busy ho gaye the ki itni baar phone karne ka time hi nahin milla." She hugged Anjali and said in a very sweet voice.

"But Jenny.  You've gotten hotter yaar.  Sacchi!" Atul said and received a hard glare from Anjali, making everyone giggle at Atul's scared face.

"Thank you Atul." She said giggling at his cuteness.

Amonst all this, Riddhima and Muskaan were clueless.  Who was this girl?

"Oye Ridz.  Yeh kaun hain yaar?" Muskaan whispered to Riddhima.

"Mujhe kya pata yaar.  Main toh pehli baar dekh rahi hoon isse." Just then, Jennifer's eyes fell on them.

"Hi.  Maine phele toh kabhi tumhe nahi ndekha."

"Oh God!  Hum bhi kitne stupid hain.  Riddhima, Muskaan.  This is Jennifer, a very good friend of ours.  And Jennifer.  This is Riddhima, Armaan's wife and this is Muskaan.  Meri fiancee." Jennifer's mouth dropped open as she heard Rahul.

"Armaan!  Tumne shaadi kab ki?!" she exclaimed and Armaan bit his tongue.  He was surely gonna die today.

"Ummm... like... a month back." Jennifer stared at him with eyes wide open, which soon got replaced by a glare.

"Tumne ek mahine pehle shaadi ki aur mujhe ab bata rahe ho?!" she asked with gritted teeth.

"Sorry yaar Jenny.  Woh... pata nahin mere dimaag se kaise nikal gaya."

"What do you mean by dimaag se nikal gaya?!  Dude!"

"Sorry kaha na yaar.  I mean it.  Shaadi ki jaldi mein pata nahin kaise mere dimaag se nikal gaya." Jennifer rolled her eyes and turned away from him.  Armaan smiled at her childishness and hugged her from behind.

"I'm very very very very very very very very veryyy sorry Jenny!  I promise you.  Aaj ke baad main tumhe kuch bhi bataana nahin bhulunga!  Please mujhe maaf kardo na." Jennifer smiled at his cuteness and looked at him.

"Theek hain.  Lekin punishment toh bhugatni padegi.  Okay?"

"Jo hukum rani saahiba." Jennifer giggled at his cheeziness and shook her head.  What they missed was the priceless look on Riddhima's face.  Seeing Armaan and Jennifer so close to each other, she felt an unpleasant feeling stir inside her.  Their closeness was killing her, like someone had stabbed a knife through her so many times.  Her fingers curved into a small fist and she looked away as the scene started paining her eyes.

"Ok guys.  We have lots of catching up to do.  It seems like I've missed out on lots of things.  Come on." Jennifer said and everyone smiled took their seats. 


"Ok. First thing is first.  Since yeh sab mera introduction dene mein itni kanjoosi kar rahe hain," Jennifer said glaring at all the boys in the living room and moved her gaze back to Riddhima with a smile "main khud hi apna introduction de deti hoon.  I'm Jennifer.  Main inn sab ki bohat hi achhi dost hoon.  I've known these four since the age of 10, I think?  Yeah, something like that.  Main inn sab ke saath college mein bhi thi, lekin ek international exchange program ke through mujhe India chhod kar USA jaana pada aur maine apni padhaayi vahin ki.  Ab main vahin rehti hoon and I'm a doctor there.  And I'm very sure tumhare so-not pyaar pati dev ne tumhe mere baare mein nahin bataaya hoga.  Right?" she said the last part glaring at Armaan.

"Nahin.  Armaan ne kabhi bhi mujhe tumhare baare mein nahin bataaya."

"Mujhe pata tha!  You jerk!  Apni wife ko mere baare mein kyun nahin bataaya?!" she yelled at Armaan.

"Toh daant kyun rahi ho yaar?  Bola na galti ho gayi."

"Ass." She muttered under her breath and turned to Riddhima.  "You know Riddhima?  Yeh Armaan na, bohat bada idiot hain.  You know, I used to be his girlfriend in college.  He was the flirt of the college.  Saari ladkiyaan na marti thi iss par.  Aur main, akal ki andhi, dusron ki tarah fida ho gayi iss par.  Lekin thank God mere mein jaldi akal aa gayi.  Warna pata nahin kya hota mera."

"Oye.  Baat toh aise kar rahi hain jaise pure college mein bas ek main hi flirt tha.  Tu bhi toh har kissi ladke pe line maarti thi.  Usske baare mein kaun bolega?"

"Arre!  Main flirt thodi na karti thi!  I was just being polite yaar."

"'I was just being polite yaar.'" He mimicked her and made faces.

"Just shut up Armaan.  Now answer my questions okay." She said in a authorized tone. "Okay so tell me.  Tum dono pehli baar kab mille the?" Their first meeting flashed before their eyes and a small smile formed on their lips remembering that crazy day.

"Sadak par." Armaan said, confusing Jennifer.

"Sadak par?"

"Yep." Seeing the confused look on Jennifer's face, Armaan decided to clear it out.  "Woh... actually main ghar se office jaa raha tha aur raaste mein meri gaadi ek bacche ko lagne waali thi, lekin Riddhima saamne aa gayi aur ussne uss bacche ko baccha liya aur humaara jhagda hua."

"First meeting mein hi jhagda?!" she asked shockingly, to which they nodded.  "Phir?"

"Phir pata chala ki main Armaan ki secretary hoon.  Actually Armaan ki previous secretary job chhod kar chali gayi thi toh I became his new secretary.  Jab mujhe pata chala toh main bohat gussa thi.  He really was the last person I wanted to work for but I had no other choice.  Naa chahte hua bhi mujhe Armaan ke liye kaam karna pada."

"Haha!  Armaan bohat cruel tha na?  A very cruel boss?"

"Cruel?!  Issne toh cruel ki limit ki limit bhi cross kar di.  Office mein pata nahin kitna tang kiya mujhe!"

"Whatever!  Like tumne mujhe kabhi bhi pareshaan nahin kiya!"

"Tumse zyaada nahin kiya!  Yaad karo.  Pehle din jaan mujh kar mere se itna saara kaam kissne karvaaya?"

"Really now?!  Aur meri coffee mein bees chamach cheeni kisni milaayi!"

"Toh jhoot kyun bola ki coffee pheenki hain!"

"Meri marzi!!"

"Abe teri toh-" Riddhima got mad and was about to hit him when she heard Jennifer.

"Woah woah woah!  Chill guys!" Riddhima stopped and looked at her.  "Tum log itna ladte kyun ho?"

"Oye Jenny.  Yeh toh roz ka hain.  Chill maar." Said Abhi.  They all laughed at Abhi's statement.  "Okay quiet guys.  Riddhima.  Tell me something.  When was your first kiss?" Riddhima eyes widened at this question.  Their first kiss... how could she forget their first kiss, that beautiful, magical moment.

"Woh... woh..." Riddhima stammered with her words and looked at Armaan, just to see him staring back at her.  She was left speechless seeing his blue orbs staring into her eyes.  She could feel her heartbeat raising once again.

"Ahem ahem!" They heard the others fake a cough and looked away.  "Guys.  Hum abhi bhi yahin hain.  Just to let you know." They giggled hearing Abhi and Riddhima placed her hair behind her ear.

"Main... main abhi aati hoon." Saying this, she quickly walked to the kitchen, while the others laughed seeing her so nervous.

****

Very soon, everyone was settled at the lunch table, waiting for the girls to serve them.  Since Jennifer had arrived without any notice, they made lots of changes to their plans for the day.  Instead of going out, they decided to stay home and catch up with many things and postponed the plan to tomorrow.

"Mmm.. Riddhima.  You're an amazing cook yaar.  Kya khana banaaya hain yaar!  Mann karta hain bas khaati hi rahoon!" Riddhima smiled genuinely and said happily.

"I'm glad tumhe mere haath ka khana pasand aaya."

"My God Jennifer!  Tum kitna khaati ho!  You're becoming fat!" Armaan said with a mock shocked look, making her jaws drop down to her knees.

"I'm not fat Armaan!"

"That's what you say." She just rolled her eyes and crossed her arms against her chest and huffed in anger.  Armaan chcuckled and hugged her from the side.

"I love you Jenny.  Please mujhe maaf kardo." He said very cutely, melting her heart and she smiled.

"Fine." She hugged him, unaware of the nasty glares she and him were getting from Riddhima.

Chipke bina rahega, toh marr nahin jaayega!  Kameena!  Mereko toh kabhi hug nahin kiya!

"Kya kar rahe ho Armaan?  Chhodo na yaar!" Jennifer whined and tried pushing him away but he just held onto her.

"Kyun chhodon?  Tune mereko maara kyun?"

"Because you deserved it sweetheart." She said playfully.

Haan haan.  Chhodoge kyun ussko?  Aur kaske pakdo.  Padko kya, SAMA jaao uss mein!

Riddhima looked away and then back at them with her hands crossed and anger evident in her eyes.  She just hated seeing Armaan and Jennifer so close to each other.  It was like a fire was burning her heart like crazy.  There was an urge developing inside her to walk up to them and pull him away from her.  She really liked Jennifer as a person but whenever she was with Armaan, she couldn't help but dislike her.  All of a sudden, she heard Jennifer cough and turned to see Armaan rubbing her back and handing her a glass of water.  Once again, she felt something stir inside her and she immediately looked away.  Soon her coughs subsided and she laughed.

"God Jennifer!  Tumne toh mujhe dara hi diya!  Kitni baar kaha hain khaate waqt bola matt karo!  Dekha na kya hua!"

"Dude!  Chill!  It's okay yaar.  Bas khana gale mein atak gaya." They laughed and giggled at Armaan and Jennifer's friendship while Riddhima simply felt left out and angry. 

Ahahaha.  Badi hassi aa rahi hain sab ko.  Main toh yahaan marr gayi hoon na.  I'm sure main koi bhoot nahin hoon.  Hello!!!! 

She thought to herself and then heard Jennifer speak to her.

"Arre Riddhima.  If you don't mind, kya tum mere liye black coffee la sakti ho?  Woh kya hain na, mujhe regular coffee pasand nahin hain.  It gets me very irritated.  Please?" she requested very politely with a smile.

Haan haan.  Regular waali coffee peeogi toh marr jaogi na? 

"And yes.  Please uss mein thodi zyaada sugar daalna.  I like it that way."

Zeher daalungi toh chalega?!

"Oh sure!" Riddhima said with a big sarcastic smile, which the others failed to notice, and Jennifer smiled happily and thanked her.  Riddhima nodded and then rolled her eyes once no one was looking at her and walked to the kitchen.

"So Jennifer.  How is your..." Riddhima heard Armaan talk as she walked in the kitchen, but his voice faded in the background as she entered the kitchen.

"Kameena, marr jaaniya, khasmaanu khaniya, moron, jerk, douchebag!  Pata nahin kya samajta hain khud ko!  Dono behave toh aise kar rahe jaise..." she just closed her eyes and turned her face to the other side to see Armaan and Jennifer laughing over something he said to her.

Yeh kya ho raha hain mujhe?  Armaan aur Jennifer itne close hain toh mujhe itni takleef kyun ho rahi hain?  Woh dono friends hain.  They can be close.  Lekin main itna gussa kyun ho rahi hoon?  This shouldn't affect me at all!  Armaan kisse ke saath bhi ho.  It shouldn't matter to me.  Lekin unn dono ko saath dekh kar jaise mere dill mein aag lag jaati hain.  I can't take it!  What should I do?  Yeh kya hain?  Kyun hain?  Aisi feeling... mujhe kabhi bhi nahin hui.  Armaan din-pe-din mere dill aur dimaag pe chhaane laga hain.  Aur yeh galat hain.  No.  I can't let this happen.  Main chaahe jo bhi Armaan ke liye feel karti hoon, woh mere baare mein shaayad sochta bhi nahin hoga.  I'm probably just a body for him.  Another girl.  This feeling needs to end before it can turn into something else.

Making this decision in her mind for the umpteenth time, Riddhima quickly made the coffee for Jennifer and walked out to see everyone now seating in the living room and laughing about something.

"Oh my God Jennifer.  You have to be kidding yaar.  Ussne tumhare saath aisa kiya?" said Nikki.

"Arre aur bhi bohat kuch kiya ussne.  Lekin phir maine-" She started, but stopped as soon as she saw Riddhima walk in and smiled widely.  "Hey Riddhima!  You're back!  Come and join us!" she said happily and Riddhima smiled fakely and sat down beside Armaan. 



Riddhima looked around and saw everyone around her smiling and enjoying themselves except for two people- Abhi and Nikki.  Nikki was smiling at what Jennifer was saying but Riddhima could tell it was forced.  If there was anything her mind really was on, then it was Abhi, who's eyes were only on Nikki, which she could sense from the corner of her eyes.  Riddhima knew how broken Nikki was.  She knew how much Nikki loved him and she couldn't even imagine what she went through when Abhi said all that to her.  It would've killed her. 



"Guys main abhi aayi." Saying this she stood up and walked upstairs.  Riddhima knew it was time to have a talk with her so she excused herself and went behind her. 



"Nikki." she said, stopping Nikki in her tracks.  She could tell Nikki wiped her tears before turning around and like she had expected, she turned around with a fake smile on her face. 



"Arre Ridz.  Tum yahaan kya kar rahi ho?" She asked, trying to sound normal but didn't succeed.  Her broken voice and teary eyes gave it away. 



"Tumse baat karne aayi hoon Nikki.  Tumhare aur Abhi ke baare mein." The smile on her face faded away as she realized Riddhima knew everything and lowered her gaze.  "Nikki.  Main jaanti hoon tumhare aur Abhi ke beech mein kya hua.  Main yeh toh nahin keh sakti ke main tumhara dard samajh sakti hoon... lekin main yeh zaroor keh sakti hoon ke waqt harr zakham bhar deta hain.  Yeh zakham bhi bhar jaayega." Riddhima said very nicely and softly, trying to comfort Nikki, who just scoffed listening to her and looked up with tears in her eyes.



"Nahin Ridz.  Yeh zakham aisa hain, jo shaayad kabhi nahin bhar sakta.  Abhi ne jo mujhe dard diya hain, usski koi dava nahin hain." she said with a hurt look on her face and Riddhima felt horrible for her.



"Nikki, sab theek ho jaayega.  Trust me."



"Kya theek hoga Ridz?  Haan?  Abhi mujhse pyaar thodi karne lagega?  Naa hi woh kabhi mujhe apnayega." Nikki turned away from her and walked away. 



"Woh tumse pyaar karta hain Nikki." Fresh tears rolled from her eyes as she heard Riddhima. 



"Nahin Ridz.  Woh mujhse pyaar nahin karta.  Yeh tumhari galat faimi hain."



"Nahin Nikki.  Abhi ne khud mujhse kaha hain ki woh tumse pyaar karta hain, he loves you!" Nikki felt her heart skip a beat listening to Riddhima.  Did he really say that?  Did he really love her?  She so wanted to believe her words and think he loved her but then that morning and his bitter words flashed in front of her and her mind took the lead once again.



"Abhi kissi se pyaar nahin karta.  He does not love me!" she said angrily.



"Toh kya tum yeh kehna chah rahi ho ki main jhooth bol rahi hoon?  Do you think I'm lying?!" Riddhima said, totally offended by her words and as soon as Nikki realized this, she softened up.



"Nahin Ridz.  Main jaanti hoon tum jhooth nahin bol rahi.  Ussne tumse kaha hoga that he loves me but... main uss par vishwaas nahin kar sakti.  I'm sorry." Riddhima knew whatever she was saying was right and it was normal for her to behave this way but she couldn't let her hurt herself and Abhi, especially when she knew how much they loved each other.  She stood in front of her and held her shoulder.



"Nikki.  I know ussne tumhe bohat hurt kiya hain and tumhara aise behave karna sahi hain.  Lekin usske baare mein toh socho.  Abhi tumse sach mein bohat pyaar karta hain Nikki.  I can see the love in his eyes.  Uss ek mauka toh do."



"Bohat dill karta hain Ridz, ke main usse ek mauka doon.  Lekin mujh mein phirse aise hurt hone ki himmat nahin hain.  Agar iss baar ussne mera dill toda, toh main marr jaaungi Ridz."



"Ussne jo kiya, woh usski nasamjhi thi.  Usse galti ho gayi.  Lekin main ab yeh baat daave ke saath keh sakti hoon ke woh phirse tumhara dill nahin todega.  I can promise you.  Just give him a chance.  Please?" Nikki thought about everything Riddhima told her.  She was right.  She should give him a chance.  What if he truly loved her?  And if he broke her heart again, she could, of course, shoot the hell outta him with her shotgun.



"I'll think about it." Riddhima smiled and hugged her, which Nikki gladly reciprocated.  There was no harm in hoping, was there?



**** 

Medha

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