Tuesday, 10 December 2019

PART 21 : Mr. & Mrs. Mallik

"Armaan!" Riddhima glared at him as he started playing with her dupatta once again. She was already tired after assisting her senior in two back-to-back surgeries and now instead of resting at her home she was again in the conference room with all her fellow interns, especially with Armaan irritating her to the maximum, waiting for the dean of the hospital.

Armaan noticed the irritated look on her face and chuckled. She looks extremely sexy when she glares with her eyes wide open and nostrils flared up, he thought dreamily.

"Good evening doctors!" Every one sat straight when they heard the dean addressing them. "I have an important announcement for you." The dean continued "You have all completed your first semester here. So you will have to give a qualifying test next month. Depending on your percentile in the test, you will be given priority to choose your area of specialization." There was a pin drop silence as the announcement was made. "So all the very best for your exam." The dean concluded and left the hall leaving the interns tensed.



"One more exam!" Armaan whined. "I never thought we would be asked to give one more exam even after graduating in medicine." He said as he rested his head against Riddhima's shoulder.

"Oh! So you thought you would be called and given a seat in post graduation?" Riddhima asked sarcastically shoving his head off her shoulder. She had already started preparing a schedule for preparation in her brain.

As they moved out of the conference hall, Riddhima pulled him to the hospital library.

"Riddhima? What are you doing? We are at hospital." Armaan mimicked her voice, but gulped the next moment looking at her angry stare. "Okay! I was just joking."

Riddhima picked out few books to get them issued, to study for the exam while Armaan stared at the pile of books in her hands in shock. "Riddhima we have the exam next month not after a year. You can't read all the books." He told her. "Moreover, only three books will be issued per intern." He added.

"Just shut your mouth. And not me; we are going to study." Armaan's eyes widened in horror listening to her. "Now give me your ID card." She pulled his ID card from his pocket even before he could answer her and got the books issued using both of their IDs.

Throughout their drive back home, Riddhima kept on describing about her schedule of how they would prepare for the exam, while Armaan was planning the ways of escape from her stupid schedule of their preparation.

***********************

After dinner, Riddhima noticed Armaan watching TV and brought a book and sat beside him on the couch. He deliberately paid no attention to her for he knows what her next move would be.

"Armaan" she called out to gain his attention. When he didn't budge, she took the remote and switched the TV off. "Armaan we have to study." She told him.

He groaned in displeasure as he heard her words. Why does she have to be like this? I have always done one day batting with my exams. But now, not even a test series it's going to be a fully fledged world cup series. He thought.

"Basket, please yaar. See tomorrow its Sunday. I promise I will start studying from tomorrow." He tried once again. But all Riddhima did was to glare at him while he gulped looking at her big eyes.

Riddhima didn't even consider his pleadings. She pulled him to his room and they sat on the bed with all the books sprawled beside them. He envied the books that were sleeping on his bed inspite of himself.

"You start with 3 and 4 chapters. Ok?" she asked him as if he had a chance.

Soon enough she was deeply engrossed in her books where Armaan, in her. He looked at her face in awe, every change of expression on her face, her smile, her confusion, her pouts probably when she didn't understand the topic. Everything about her appeared so beautiful. All he wanted to do was throw the books aside and press his lips against hers hard. What would she do if he does that? He wondered and chuckled.

Unknown to himself, he found himself noticing her lips, neck, heaving chest and her perfect curves while she leaned against the bed post. He felt himself being attracted to her more, in a different sense. He had this sudden urge to touch her and feel her. Why all of a sudden? May be the reason was that she was in his room and on his bed, a few feet away. He immediately looked away his face slightly flushed at the direction of his thoughts.

Riddhima wondered why he had become quite all of a sudden. He didn't disturb her, bicker with her not even once in the past hour. She glanced at him through the corner of her eyes and found him in deep thought. What was he thinking? She wondered and got back to preparing the notes. Little did she know the ideas going on in his brain!

After few minutes, she looked at her side and witnessed the most adorable sight ever. He lay on his stomach with his head rested on the book she gave, sleeping peacefully. A sweet smile made its presence on her lips as she heard his slight snore. She found him frowning in his sleep when the pages of the books brushed against his cheeks disturbing his sleep.

Riddhima pulled the book gently from under his face making sure not to disturb him and placed it on the bedside table. She ran her fingers in his hair lovingly before leaning in and planting a soft kiss on his cheek. "Good night Armaan!" she whispered before getting back to her book.

Riddhima gasped in horror as she felt a pull on her waist after some time. Her book slipped out of her hands and she found herself being pulled towards Armaan. She sighed in relief as she found his hand wrapped around her waist, carelessly yet strongly. Before she knew what was happening she landed beside him few inches away as he snuggled into her. Her pulses quickened at the sudden contact of their bodies and wondered whether he was awake. But his even breath rate confirmed that he was fast asleep, indeed in deep slumber.

She removed his hand from her waist with great effort and rolled outwards from his embrace. Closing her eyes for a moment she tried to calm down her paced breathing. How could he have such an effect on her even with these simple gestures, she wondered. She glanced at the watch and found it to be past 12. Hesitantly she got up and sat on the bed and collecting all the books that were lying on the bed, she placed them on the table.

She got off the bed and moved towards the door to go back to her room, but then suddenly stopped at the door. She glanced at her room- lonely and dark, and then back at Armaan on the bed. She kicked herself mentally at the thoughts arising in her mind. But his warm embrace and protective arms were tempting enough.

Could she go and sleep beside him, she asked herself. He was deep in sleep, so he wouldn't mind it and moreover she trusts him. But does she trust herself? She realized her body reacts to him in its own way without the consent of her brain. It acts as if her heart is controlling it. She stood at the door debating with herself whether she should listen to her heart or brain.

Like always her body reacted to her heart and she found herself walking back to his bed. She pulled the blanket over his body and slid into it beside him. She being herself, slept beside him at an arm distance but Armaan as if in search for some warmth moved closer to her as a reflex with his arm around her waist.

Inspite of the apprehension in her mind, she couldn't help but relax in his hold. She turned towards him and plainly stared at his face. She noticed his features for the first time with full attention. His broad forehead with his hair kissing it, eyes outlined by dark brows, covered by its lids, more than perfect nose and rigid jaw line supported by slightly flat cheeks. How she wished she could have a look at his deep blue eyes!

Her hand rose to his face and brushed his cheek in daze. "I love you Armaan" she whispered into the night and closed her eyes feeling content.

*************************

As Armaan tried to shift, he felt something soft and warm close to his body, beneath him. His subconscious and sleepy brain registered it to be Riddhima from her faint fragrance. Sighing lazily and still more asleep than awake he snuggled closer to her, digging his face into her chest. It is indeed a beautiful dream, he thought sleepily. But it was far more like real, he concluded. Not realizing what he was doing, he moved his hands, deftly, down her body until her t-shirt gave away to her rather warm skin.

He smiled unconsciously as he caressed her bare skin at her navel. He had wanted to touch her, but never thought it would be so soon. If not in real, he was glad he had been dreaming about it. But how come he could actually feel her skin under his knuckles, he wondered. He tried to separate his erotic dream from reality, but was afraid he would miss his dream, if at all it was, if he opened his eyes. Moreover, Riddhima isn't protesting, so it had to be a dream or at least his illusion.

He brushed his lips against her throat when he felt her pulling him closer. Without any further thoughts, he slid his other hand inside her top and stroked her bare waist while his lips caught hold of her skin at her neck. Slowly and lazily, still with closed eyes, he indulged himself in exploring her deeply.

Riddhima drifted awake slowly as she felt something warm at her neck. Nevertheless, it was soothing, so she didn't mind to open her eyes. She shuddered as she felt a gentle caress under her top. She had to be dreaming, she thought as she savoured the touch. The next moment, realization hit her as she felt someone whispering her name and that someone was Armaan. I can't be listening to his voice if I had been dreaming, she thought as she tried to clear her brain.

Riddhima's eyes fluttered open as she felt him fidgeting with her bare skin. She looked around trying to understand what was happening. The room was not completely dark, so may be early in the morning, she thought. But this is not her room, she realized. She immediately looked down as she felt something damp on her throat. All she could see was something black and her fingers in it. Hair? she wondered as she moved her fingers in it. She gasped as she realized it was Armaan's.

Her breath got struck in her throat as she felt him kiss her neck again, whispering her name. The next moment she was wary of her surroundings as she came back to her senses. What was she doing in his room, and moreover with Armaan on top of her on same bed, she panicked.

"Armaan?" she called him, shaking him to wake him, trying to get out of his hold. But he only shifted his face to the other side as he tried to get into a comfortable position over her. She calmed down as he stopped kissing her and plainly slept. Now that she was awake she was aware of the faint ache at her back due to his heavy body on her and her uncomfortable position.

"Don't disturb my dream yaar, please" Armaan murmured in his sleep as she tried to wake him up again, shaking him. She couldn't help but smile at his tactic when he pulled the blanket over his face, burying his face in it. She felt relieved as she remembered the previous night, how she came and slept beside him, that explained their positions. But first she should wake him as she didn't want Raji to find them like this, all cuddled up.

"Armaan?" she shouted in his ear, smacking his head. Armaan opened his eyes ready to murder the person who woke him. As he raised his head up, his eyes met her beautiful face and smiled at her dreamily. So this is how it feels to wake up along with her, he thought dazed. Riddhima knew what that smile of his means and started counting numbers in her brain silently.

Riddhima counted numbers upto five and as expected he screamed in shock "Riddhima? What the hell are you doing? In my room?" All she could do was giggle at his pale face. What was he doing on the same bed, with her beneath him? he tried recalling.

"Actually, you slept last night while studying. I was too tired to go to my room. So…..I mean…you know…..I" Riddhima's voiced trailed off in embarrassment and she looked away. How could she tell him that she slept beside him because it was so alluring.

 Armaan looked down at her immediately in apprehension, slightly scared of her reaction. His panic vanished as he noticed her blushing slightly and sighed. The moment he saw her smiling, face glowing with morning freshness, his confusion gave away to his naughtiness. And before she could read the glint in his eyes, he brushed his lips against hers gently. He didn't hold her, just rested his hand at her waist as if he would release her at the slightest movement from her. She lay completely still, in a shock, as he kissed her gently.

"Good morning!" he wished her as he unsealed his lips from hers. He had always wanted to kiss her good morning. Now that he had done it, his heart jumped, in joy, against his chest. When he saw her still closed eyes breathing heavily, he added "Open your eyes Riddhima" He saw her blushing as she opened her eyes and looked at him.

"Armaan, get off me. God! You are heavy!" she exclaimed after a minute wiggling to get out from under him. And more over she was not sure if she could handle one more close encounter at the moment as she could feel herself getting warm.

"Is it? But you were not complaining a couple of minutes ago. Moreover I love my soft bed, I don't want to get up." He smirked as he snuggled closer to her yet gain. He could sense her slowly getting comfortable with their physical proximity and didn't want to make it awkward between them. It's OK if she wanted to sleep beside him. So he resumed being his regular self with his usual banter with her, irritating her.

"Armaan, God! My back is aching. Get up." She scowled at him, though true, smacking his shoulder. He rolled off her body to the other side of the bed providing her room to get up. As she stood up blushing inevitably, he too got to his feet as they heard the door bell ring.

"May be the milk man" Riddhima told him as he frowned.

As she was about to move towards the door, he pulled her back. When she raised her brow, he pulled her extra large t-shirt, which is falling off one of her shoulders, back to its place and pecked her cheek. "Adjust your dress first, next time!" he whispered in her ear. As she ran from his arms, to the door, all he could do was to smile at her retreating back.

Armaan fell asleep the moment he hit his bed, but for Riddhima sleep was miles apart. As she lay in the bed, she was still quivering from the previous encounter. Though she had thought it to be a dream at first, she could still feel his gentle caress faintly on her skin- waist, lips and everywhere he had touched. It was an exquisite feeling. Was it natural to feel so, she wondered.

Maybe they could take a step ahead in their relationship, maybe he wanted that too and maybe she too? She wondered whether she is ready for anything of that sort. She is a woman and physical relation with her man is natural, a part of life, yet she is anxious. She is sure he wouldn't take any decision until she agrees, yet she is apprehensive. She has not reached that comfort level with him that she could go and talk about this feeling of hers to him or maybe she could talk to him. May be she still wanted a little more time. May be their relationship wanted a little more time, she pondered. Why? They are married.

Are we married? She wondered. They were legally married. But just two signatures on a paper? She didn't understand what she was thinking. They love each other, they respect each other and they trust each other. But still are we married? She asked her heart rather than her brain. She didn't find any answer.

Frustrated she got up from the bed and stood infront of the dressing table. She looked at the image before her eyes. She was still Riddhima Gupta as far as she can notice, not Riddhima Armaan Mallik. She remembered the hasty situations in which they were legally married.

Involuntarily a smile appeared on her face as she remembered the day she had run away from her own marriage with a bunch of mad friends. Little did she know that day that one stupid plan of theirs would lead her to the place she was standing now. But she was extremely happy she had taken that stupid decision, for she ended up with Armaan, as his wife.

His wife? She wondered again. They were a married couple only for the world. She realized they had undergone none of the rituals to be termed as a married couple. Her eyes made their way to her forehead and then her neck in the image. Only a simple gold chain. Then how could she be his wife? But why is she so desperate for this all of a sudden. May be she needed a promise from him – that he would never leave her alone. May be she was still insecure about their relationship.

Out of all the maybe's that were taunting her, she was sure of one thing, that she wants Armaan in her life. She wondered whether she could ask him to marry her, with all the rituals, infront of God! She chuckled at her thought. How would she ask him? Armaan, marry me? Will he understand what she was asking for?

Her train of thoughts was broken when she heard the door of her room flew open.

"Oh Riddhima, you are already up? I came to wake you." Raji said softly.

"Yeah aunty. I woke up early. I will take a bath." Riddhima replied briskly and ran into the bathroom.

*****************


-Sushmita

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