Thursday, 9 January 2020

AR FF part 18 : : "and then she said it"

 Could I have this, forever ?

I cursed the traffic for the umpteenth time in the last few minutes. I didn't understand why the traffic was at its peak today. It was as if, all of a sudden, the number of automobiles in Hyderabad was doubled. Or maybe it was my eagerness to get back home, a thin voice in my mind whispered. I couldn't admit it wasn't true after all.

In the last two weeks, Riddhima had completely changed my life style for good. I always wondered how guys transformed themselves into homely husbands after their marriage. But when it happened to me, I couldn't even recall how it had happened. But I wasn't complaining. Infact I was glad. Because that brought Riddhima a lot more closer to me on an emotional stand. The hesitation that I used to find in her when she wanted to talk to me reduced very much and I could feel her much more comfortable with me around her. But she was still mysterious.



A desperate tug at my trousers broke my chain of thoughts. As I looked down I found a little girl looking at me expectantly, putting forward a bunch of roses. This was a routine near the traffic signals, but I never paid any attention to those flowers back then. But as I glanced at those fresh flowers, I couldn't help but think about Riddhima's smile. Yes, I was the one who thought she was a miser when it comes to spending a smile but lately, I have been finding her smiling more often. And when she smiles, her eyes automatically twinkle, making it utterly impossible for me to look away. The more I watched her smile, I realized, the more I wanted her to smile.

"Bhaiyya, please take one. Only 10 Rs." The girl pleaded me.

I don't know whether it was the earnestness in that little girl's voice or my thoughts about Riddhima that made me buy the whole bunch of roses placing a 100 Rs. note in the girl's tiny fist.

Rahul reached home the same time as me. And he grinned at me when he spotted the roses in my hand. For once, I couldn't find any comment to get back at him. So I just looked away. I rang the bell as I waited for Riddhima to open the door while Rahul was answering some call on his mobile.

And after a couple of moments, the door was opened by her and as soon as she looked at me, her face lit up with that smile of hers. But before she could let us in, I put forward the roses. And her face clearly depicted the surprise she has received.

"For me?" She asked, gawking at the flowers.

I chuckled at her reaction. "Yes." I grinned down at her and she clutched the roses in her small hands almost instantly. She looked at them and then at me for a couple of times and I wondered what was going on in her mind.

But putting an end to my confusion, she sort of took me by complete surprise when she threw her hands around my neck and hugged me tight. "Thank you so much. I loved them." She said, her voice cheerful. And before I could steady myself from the surprise, she almost bowled me clean, placing her warm lips on my cheek just above my jawline giving me a soft lingering kiss.

That was quite unexpected from Riddhima, taking into account her shyness whenever I made little intimate advances towards her. Though they were just restricted to me giving her gentle pecks on her cheek, or sometimes her neck I was amused at the way she lowered her eyelids or closed her eyes, not to mention her slightly quivering form and quick breaths, at the slightest contact between our skins. That was something new to me, as all my life I was used to women who looked head on into my eyes when I kissed them or had sex with them. And I guess this was one attribute of Riddhima that pulled me towards her strongly. I never had any presumptions of what I had wanted in a woman; but within a few days of my life with Riddhima, I found out that every action, or reaction, of hers towards our physical intimacy excites me, not to forget turns me on.

As I wrapped my arms around her, returning her warm embrace, I couldn't help the words my brain had thrown at me. "Rahul, turn around." And Riddhima went stiff in my arms.

"uh-I'll better go to my room." He mumbled clearly embarrassed at what he had witnessed and hurried into his room.

When I let Riddhima part away, with my arms still around her, I wasn't surprised to find her face all red. I would have been surprised if she hadn't turned red with embarrassment. "I wish I could get the same welcome every day." I whispered in her ear and winked when she raised her eyes to meet mine. I stepped in and closed the door behind me, without releasing her off my hold. Nor did she try to move away.

"You should have told me that Rahul was there." She murmured slowly and I thought she was pouting, her voice complaining. "I wouldn't be able to look at Rahul in his eyes."

"I wasn't thinking straight then." I admitted. "Was it for the flowers or something else that made you so happy?" I asked her guiding her towards our bedroom.

Her head shot up at once. "Aunty called me to tell that she and Shashank uncle's family were coming here tomorrow for the reception party." That clearly diverted her mind off the earlier embarrassment.

"That's great." I smiled at her excitement in meeting mom and others. "So your saree is ready for the party?" I questioned. We had gone shopping the last weekend to buy new clothes. Though she said, she had too many new sarees and doesn't need a new one for the party; I pulled her along and bought a saree for her and a suit to myself and Rahul. We hunted down the house of the tailor our new maid had suggested to her and she gave her blouse for stitching.

She nodded at me and took my lunch bag, before moving towards the kitchen. Ever since she was done with the grocery shopping two weeks ago, she packed lunch for Rahul and me daily in two small lunch bags she had bought for us. At office, everyone pulled my leg when they spotted a lunch bag hanging from my shoulders. I had to admit that her culinary skills were awesome so much that her cooking was able to drastically increase my appetite for food.

When I went to the dining table after having a shower, I noticed Rahul and Riddhima sitting awkwardly at the table and chuckled. It was rare to see both of them quite when they were together. And much to my entertainment, they didn't speak to each other while having dinner and nor did they look at each other.

When she joined me in the bed to retire for the day, I pulled her closer with a familiarity that my limbs have gotten used to. "Let it go, Riddhima. You are making it more awkward for Rahul." I told her softly.

She turned to me and looked into my eyes. "I have never been more embarrassed in my life." She whispered slowly.

I smiled. "It's okay. I guess, he will get used to it in a couple of days." I watched her gape at me and chuckled.

She turned on her side again, her back touching my chest. "I never knew you were naughty." I heard her voice. She must have been blushing hard as she said that. "I was so afraid of your anger initially." She added after a moment of silence.

"Are you now?" I asked. I know I had scared the hell out of her in the initial days when I met her. Unfortunately, she had been at the receiving end of my anger for a couple of times.

"No." She whispered and I was glad at her answer for I knew she said the truth.

"Are you feeling sleepy?" I whispered. I really hoped she wasn't because my spirits were high with that soft kiss of hers and I wanted to take it a little ahead. She nodded her head negatively and I let my palm brush along the length of her arm before entwining her fingers. And almost immediately I felt goose bumps on her skin.

When she didn't recoil back, I placed my lips on her neck and left few feather light kisses gauging her reaction. I heard her breath coming quick and I knew she was enjoying it, when I heard her deep sigh. I let my hand slide inside her night shirt and heard her gasp aloud when I touched her bare skin. It was so soft and warm that tempted me to go ahead and check the softness of her other treasures.

"Tell me if you want me to stop." I whispered again, this time letting my lips touch her earlobe. I didn't want to impose our physical intimacy on her and for some reason, I wanted to take it slow with her. In response, she tilted her head providing me with a better access and I knew her answer. I caressed her waist sensually while placing kisses behind her ear before moving down back to her neck. This time, I let my lips linger on her skin letting the moment sink into both of us. I made sure not to move my hand that was inside her shirt raise up and stuck to her waist, which was way too hard. Slowly I turned her around and lifting my head up, gazed down at her. I couldn't see the color that adorned her cheeks due to the faint light from the bed lamp but I knew they would have already turned to a deep shade of red. She had her eyes closed and I felt her gripping the sleeve of my T-shirt tight in one of her fists.

A sudden wave of tenderness took over me as I continued looking at her. She was vulnerable and way too precious, I realized at the moment. I saw her lips trembling slightly, may be in anticipation or apprehension. Oh! She was beautiful; so damn beautiful, I couldn't help but sigh. With my hand still stroking her waist, I bent down and placed my lips on her forehead. She might have been surprised, or maybe not, for she opened her eyes and looked at me. Her eyes held a glint of wariness and I knew this wasn't the moment.

I kissed her nose and smiled down at her. "Good night, Riddhima." I whispered gently into her ear and rested my head back on the pillow, but didn't withdraw my hand from inside her shirt. Neither did she point it out.

She smiled and moved closer in my embrace. She slid down a bit and rested her face under my chin, against my chest. "Good night." She whispered and surprised me again by placing a soft kiss just above the hem of my T-shirt.

As I closed my eyes, in the tranquility of the night, I knew that we were another step ahead in our relationship though nothing much transpired between us.

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"Riddhima, the menu is done. We have-" My words broke off when I found mom signaling at me not to shout. I smiled at the sight infront on me. Riddhima was sleeping on the bed with her head in mom's lap with mom stroking her head.

Ever since mom, Padma aunty, Muski and Shashank Uncle had come here in the morning, she was on her toes. Though I insisted that I would order for breakfast from some hotel, she woke up early in the morning and prepared breakfast for everyone. And same is the case with the lunch. She prepared three varieties of dishes apart from biryani. And everyone was all praises for her. After lunch when aunty and uncle and rested in the guest room, Riddhima and mom sat in our bed room. I knew they wanted to talk. So giving them their space, I left for the conference room I had booked for the evening party, taking Muski and Rahul along with me, to supervise the last minute preparations.

I went and sat beside mom on the bed. She smiled at me. "How are you?" She simply asked. But I knew the hidden question behind her words.

"I am happy mom. Very happy." I smiled at her.

"Riddhima is happy too." She said. "I have never seen her this happy before." And I felt good. Though I knew that myself, it felt good to hear it from mom. She continued, "She was telling about your shopping trip last weekend before she dozed off. She showed me the saree you bought for her. "I am happy for you." She patted my cheek lovingly.

"Didn't she tell you about how she cleaned the house in one day?" I asked her smiling. "Seriously mom, I never knew that she was a cleanliness freak." I added.

"She is not as freak as I am." Mom chuckled at me. But her face turned serious the next moment. "Mostly, she might have done that to please you."

I was surprised at her perception. "May be." I remembered her face, eagerly waiting for my reaction when I returned in the evening. "She is so different mom." I couldn't help but add.

"I am glad you realized that." She said, smiling. She slowly placed Riddhima's head on the pillow and kissed her forehead, before turning to me. "Sleep for some time. It'll be very late in the night. I'll go and rest in Rahul's room." She kissed me and left the room.

I changed into comfortable clothes and lay down beside her on the bed. She lay on her stomach, with her hands folded at her waist and her face turned to the other side. Her free hair was spread out like satin ribbons on the pillow. I wondered how it would be to run my fingers in them. Soft and fragile. Just like her skin. Out of habit, I placed my arm around her waist and the next moment she turned to me and snuggled closer. As I stared down at her I found her lips slightly parted. I closed my eyes immediately lest I gave in to my desire to merge my lips with hers to fill in the gap.

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I slowly drifted awake when I felt something soft on my face. Out of the crevice in my slightly parted eyes, I noticed Riddhima staring at me, as if in awe. I closed my eyes shut and waited to feel what she does. And the soft brush of something continued on my face. It didn't take me any longer to realize that the soft something was Riddhima's fingers. I felt her hesitation as she ran her fingers along the length of my cheek bone. Then they traced the path up my forehead and I felt her pushing my hair back from my forehead. I held my breath and with all my senses alert, anticipated her next move. But for few moments I felt nothing. Not even her fingers. As disappointment washed over me, I got ready to open my eyes to see if she had left, only to feel something on my forehead. And it was warm and moist. Softer as if it were her lips. LIPS!! The realization made my heart skip few beats and I couldn't help the smile that tugged my lips. Her lips lingered for a few moments and I put up a straight face when my skin lost the contact of hers. I knew she would shy away from me if she comes to know that I had been awake. So I lay still and let her have her moment. A moment later I felt the mattress moving and realized she was leaving. I opened my eyes and stared at her retreating figure as she disappeared into the washroom. And I smiled to my heart's content.

She emerged out of the washroom 20 minutes later, her wet hair wrapped in a towel and her body fresh from the shower. She smiled at me before placing her new saree carefully on the bed. I looked at the clock which said 6 pm. We had one more hour before we left for the hall. She looked at me and I got her cue.

"I'll go and have a shower." I said getting up from the bed and moving towards the washroom.

When I stepped out of the washroom, in just shorts, I found her almost ready with her dark red saree perfectly draped around her thin body. She was standing infront of the dressing table I had bought for her last week, drying her hair.

When she sensed my presence, she turned around to face me. "How do I look?" She asked, but quickly averted her gaze and turned around as she took in my attire.

Was she fishing for my compliments, I wondered as I stood right behind her, looking into the mirror before us. I stepped closer and she tried to move away but I stopped her just. "You are so beautiful." I didn't intend but my voice came out as a husky rasp, surprising myself more than her. Her damp hair touched my chest when I moved in further closer and an involuntary sigh left my lips when I put one of my hands around her waist to hold her in place. "and tempting enough."

I watched as her eyes drifted close slowly when I pushed her hair to one of her shoulders. This made her bare back graze against my chest instead of her hair, making me sexually charged. I dropped my head and nuzzled her neck. Gently nipping at her earlobe, I took her hand in my right hand while my left one was busy caressing her waist under her saree. I lifted her hand up to my lips and while kissing, her fingers caught my attention. Mentally making a note in my head to remember what I had noticed, I left her hand and let my lips find her sweet spot behind her ear. She shivered slightly and I gladly obliged when she leaned back on me putting all her weight on mine. My lips trailed down to her nape, leaving wet kisses on her skin before pushing her blouse on the shoulder slightly aside as it restricted my access. I heard her low moan and murmur my name when I nibbled her skin.

Without warning, I turned her around and stared down at her face as I lifted her chin up with my finger. I lowered my face until I could feel her shallow breath on my lips. I was sure she felt mine. She didn't open her eyes but I felt her fingers poking into my skin on my back. I almost placed my lips on hers when I heard. "Armaan, the vehicle arrived!!" A fist slammed the door "Make it fast!!"

She jumped like a guilty adolescent when she heard uncle's voice and slid away from my arms. "Don't bother with making your hair. Leave it open." I managed to say before she fled off from the room.

I looked at my image in the mirror and was surprised to find my face slightly red. Grinning to myself like a fool, I took my suit and set about to get ready.
She didn't enter the room while I got ready. I knew she wouldn't, taking into account her history of shyness. But I had something else in my brain. I didn't find her in the living room either where mom, aunty, uncle and Rahul were waiting for me. She might be with Muski, I thought and tried peeping into the guest room whose door was open. But I couldn't grab a sight of her.

"Muski is doing her make-up." Mom said, smiling when I turned back to them, making everyone chuckle.

"Mom, I have a small work. You all go to the hall and take Riddhima along with you, Rahul knows the route. I'll be there in half an hour." I told them and mom stood up from the sofa, so did the others.

"Something wrong, Armaan?" Uncle asked worried.

"No, uncle. I just got a call from the office. They need my signature on important documents. So I need to go there for half an hour. I'll be back to the hall soon." I told them, as convincingly as I could. But Rahul frowned at my words. I looked at him and signaled him to take care of everything while I left home.

--------------------------------------------

When I am done with my work, I realized that I forgot my mobile at home. I checked my watch. It was already 7.30 pm. Every one might have been waiting for me, I thought as I quickly sat on the bike and rode back to the hall. But the traffic was heavy owing to the prime time of the weekend. And midway I came to know that one of the roads that led the way to the hall was closed. And I had to take the other road which meant it would take another half an hour to reach the hall. I tried locating any booth for public telephones but found none in that locality. And I realized I would get more late if I started searching for the telephone. Cursing under my breath, I took another road and sped towards the hall. However fast I rode, it took me good 40 minutes to reach the hall.

Rahul ran up to me with relief when I entered the hall. "What took you so long? Everyone was tensed." He pulled me into a quick hug. "Go and meet Riddhima. She is in the room, crying." He propelled me to the room. My friends greeted me warmly as I passed them. I smiled at them and ran to the room where Riddhima was.

Everyone sighed in relief when I entered the room. As soon as Riddhima spotted me, she ran into my arms and I realized she had been crying her eyes out. Others left the room when I nodded at them and I hugged her tight, rubbing her back trying to calm her. I was slightly worried when she cried bitterly in my arms.

"What happened Riddhima?" I tried to part away to look at her, but she clung to me desperately. "I was stuck in the traffic." I tried to make her understand that my getting late wasn't intentional. I wondered what had caused her emotional breakdown, now that everything was going fine between us. "Now stop crying, Riddhima." I parted her gently away and saw that she was in hiccups. I walked her to the water filter in the room and made her drink water.

"Where did you go?" she asked in her broken voice. "Aunty told that you went to the office and would come here directly but your colleagues, when they reached here, told us you didn't reach the office. You even forgot your mobile." She managed between her sniffs.

"I-I had some urgent work, Riddhima. I promise it won't happen again." I wiped her tears.

"I don't trust my fate Armaan. I tend to lose everything when I am happy for some time. I was so scared when you didn't reach. Many thoughts that something might have happened to you almost choked me to death." She said, her eyes boring into mine.

"Oh, Riddhima. I am so sorry." I hugged her again. This was the first time, she talked to me about her insecurities and I realized it would take some time and a lot of her effort to surpass them. But for now, all I could do was assure her of my presence in her life and that I wouldn't leave her. "I don't know about your fate but don't worry, you won't be able to get rid of me that easily." I told her, trying to lift her mood. And she tried to smile at my attempt, parting away.

"I am sorry, let's go." She said after a moment.

"Are you sure? We could stay for some time if you want." I said, holding her hands in mine.

"I am fine." She said, now smiling slightly. "Your friends have been waiting for a long time."

"Okay, but first go and wash your face." I told her softly. "I'll send Muksi to fix your smudged make up."

She nodded at me and made her way towards the washroom. I waited to see if she would notice the change in her fingers. But, I guessed, she was preoccupied when she didn't. I turned around to leave the room; and go and send Muski to help her.

Just as I was about to step outside, Riddhima dashed out of the washroom, putting her left hand up. "You bought me a ring?" she asked, slightly breathless. I nodded, smiling. "Is that why you went away?"

 "I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier. I just noticed today that you don't have a ring on your left hand." I shrugged. That was true. We didn't have any ceremony before our wedding so we could exchange the rings. Neither did we have a leisurely wedding. After the wedding too, it didn't occur to me. I don't know if she has realized it or not. But somehow today, I noticed the difference. "Did you like it?" I asked her when I found her looking at her ring intently. It was a simple platinum wedding band with a small diamond embarked in its body in the middle. Very well aware of her taste, I knew she wouldn't like it if it was pompous. So I took my time in choosing the right one.

"Huh?" She raised her eyes to meet mine. "It's beautiful, thank you." She whispered and within no time her eyes filled again.

I sighed, waking up to her. "If you cry every time, people might think that I am a very bad husband."

She wiped her tears and shook her head. "But I don't have anything to give you." She mumbled; and I smiled. Of all the things, she was thinking about that!

"That's fine. I'll ask you when I want one." I told her.

"If you are done with your romance, can I come in?" Muski knocked at the door before entering. "You are starving your friends. Go and meet them. I'll bring Riddhima in 10 minutes." She spoke before she pushed me out of the room.

When I went to meet the guests, I realized that Rahul had kept them preoccupied for the last one hour. I met half of them when I heard, Muski calling for me. I turned around and noticed Riddhima standing beside her, smiling at me shyly. There wasn't much of her make up left on her face, but she appeared fresh and happy. I walked up to her and extended my hand for her. She placed her hand in mine and I guided her towards my colleagues first. She greeted everyone with a bright smile as I introduced her to everyone. Not even once, did her smile leave her face.

After meeting everyone, my colleagues insisted me for a dance with her. She was highly hesitant. Nevertheless, I pulled her closer as the incharge of the hall played music for us. I twirled her in and out of my arms, guiding her accordingly. And boy, she was light and very graceful on her feet! After she was past her initial hesitance, she giggled like a kid when we danced amidst the cheering and applause of everyone. We danced, laughed and then went for dinner with all my friends when we were tired. All through the party, from one corner of my eyes, I noticed mom smiling at us contently and from that smile of hers I knew she was proud of her choice.

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It was past 12 in the midnight when we reached home. And we entered laughing at some joke Muski had cracked in the vehicle. Rahul quickly made the arrangements for everyone to sleep. Aunty and uncle took the guest room, he guided mom and Muski to his room and he made his bed on the extendable Singapore sofa in the living room.

Riddhima was still giggling about the joke when we entered our bed room and it felt good watching her. I removed my suit and tie and placed them on the table beside the bed as she went to the dressing table and started removing her jewellery.

"I never knew you had so many friends." She said, after some time.

For some reason, I felt she was comparing her life to mine. It was such a contrast. I was always surrounded with people around me while she led quite different one. I walked behind her when she moved towards the wardrobe.

"You need something, Armaan?" She asked turning around.

"No, I was just thinking to continue with what we had left incomplete before the party." I told her, moving closer to her,

She frowned for a moment, trying to recall what I was referring to and then her cheeks changed color and I knew she got a clue as to what I was speaking. She looked here and there, but not at me as I backed her gently to the wardrobe.

Slowly, I ran my fingers along the length of her neck and collar bone as she closed her eyes. I caressed her cheek with my thumb as I slowly angled her face upwards with my other fingers resting against her nape. My gaze flew down to her lips. With that shining gloss on her lips they looked even more delicious to feast upon. I watched her as her breath came quick and shallow, which was not so new when I was this close to her. And I was surprised to find my heart pacing at a mad speed. I waited to see if she would hesitate but rather found her pulling me closer with my shirt at the sides of my waist tightly clasped in her fists.

I blew air gently on her lips and she parted her lips ever so slightly. I dropped my head and my lips came down to hers, perfectly fitting in the space between hers. She trembled when I pressed them together and wave of electricity shot through my spine as I nibbled at her bottom lip slowly. With one of my hand sprawled across the small of her back and the other in her hair, I pulled her closer as I moved our lips together. She was subtle and sweet and much more tempting. She didn't part her lips and neither did I probe her for that.

Women in my previous life had told me many times that I was a wonderful kisser, but for some reason, I found myself eager to please her in a way that was foreign to me. Though I did the needful, my heart craved for something else. And my subconscious mind eventually realized what I had been waiting for. Her response. She didn't move away but neither did she kiss me back. She just kept our lips in contact but that's not what my heart had wanted.

I drew back and looked down at her. She was breathing heavily. I touched her lips with my thumb and found them moist. "Kiss me back, Riddhima!" I almost pleaded in a desperate whisper in her ear. And as I spoke I also realized that I was panting.

Gulping as much air as I could manage, I captured her lips again but didn't go further. Though I knew I was running out of my self-control, I waited patiently for her. She took her time, but eventually obliged to my words. I pulled her closer almost fusing our bodies into one when I felt her sucking at my lip. Though this wasn't anything fierce, it was able to shake my world for a moment. Not able to refrain myself any longer, I probed her lips apart and she did but her action was a bit hesitant as if she was still pondering about it. But I felt strangely excited with her tentativeness.

I touched the tip of her tongue with mine and the rest was magical. I took my time exploring her and she responded back gradually with equal fervor. Her arms raised and she wrapped them around my shoulders as I pusher her against the wardrobe. We were so close that her breasts brushed against my chest fogging my mind. And at the very moment, I realized that I would never get enough of her. God, she is so sweet!!! Her hesitance, shyness, innocence- everything and anything made me want more of her. And I wished I could have this forever.

Over and over I look in your eyes
you are all I desire
you have captured me
I want to hold you
I want to be close to you
I never want to let go
I wish that this night would never end
I need to know

Could I hold you for for a lifetime
Could I look into your eyes
Could I have this night to share this night together
Could I hold you close beside me
Could I hold you for all time
Could I could I have this kiss forever
Could I could I have this kiss forever, forever

Over and over I've dreamed of this night
Now you're here by my side
You are next to me
I want to hold you and touch you taste you
And make you want no one but me
I wish that this kiss could never end
oh baby please

Could I hold you for a lifetime
Could I look into your eyes
Could I have this night to share this night together
Could I hold you close beside me
Could I hold you for all time
Could I could I have this kiss forever
Could I could I have this kiss forever, forever

I don't want any night to go by
Without you by my side
I just want all my days
Spent being next to you
Lived for just loving you
And baby, oh by the way

Could I hold you for a lifetime
Could I look into your eyes
Could I have this night to share this night together
Could I hold you close beside me
Could I hold you for all time
Could I have this kiss forever
Could I could I have this kiss forever, forever

[Could I could I have this kiss forever, forever- Enrique Iglesias]

sushmita

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