Saturday, 11 January 2020

AR FF part 20 : "and then she said it"

A Sudden Speed-Breaker

As I sat gawking at her, my eyes ready to pop out of their sockets, she returned me a small smile. It was not one of her sweetest smiles that I am used to find on her lips but that of a sultry and mischievous ones. And for the first time in my life of 27 years, I felt utterly embarrassed – partly out of my own deed and partly out of her knowledge of my deed and most importantly due to the fact that she revealed it to me. And it was a wonder that my heart didn't suffer from any cardiac arrest at that question of hers because I surely had no idea that I could stay alive after knowing what she was capable of doing. That only left me with one more question. What else was locked up in that mysterious heart of hers?

"Tell na!" She whined tugging at my shirt.

But I was in no way having this conversation with her and the fact that she was drunk didn't make it any good either. "Riddhima, you are drunk. Its better you go to sleep." I didn't intend it to come out as a snap, but she flinched and jerked away from me at once. I put the bottle in my hand on the table beside the bed and turned to her to find her looking at me warily.



"I am sorry." She said in a small voice reaching for my hand cautiously. "You won't leave me, will you?" She asked, now playing with my fingers. "I promise I'll never drink again. I promise I'll never ask you anything." Her earnest plea made my chest tighten as I remembered that way she pleaded me not to ask her vacate our home when I yelled at her for the first time. I didn't know what to do to make her get rid of that fear that I would leave her and I realized no matter what she does, she was just the nave, innocent and slightly insecure Riddhima she was. All I could do was assure her of my presence in her life.

I lay down on the bed and pulled her down beside me. Letting her place her head on my shoulder, I caressed her cheek with my knuckles. "I won't leave you ever Riddhima." I doubted whether her drunken mind would take in what I said, but I just hoped it would.

"Really?" She asked as if I had given her a diamond, her eyes full to their size filled with hope.

"Promise!!" I chuckled at her and pecked her lips making her giggle. "Now go to sleep, okay?" I suddenly felt like a dad!!

She looked as if she was pondering about it. Then she sat up suddenly and gave that mischievous smile again and I knew she was up to something. I just prayed she doesn't remember about what I had seen from the washroom. But she had some other plans of her own. Within one swift movement, she lay on top of me, positioning her body from head to toe perfectly above mine. While I stared at her wide eyed, she propped herself on her elbows and looked at me, playing with the buttons on my shirt. I didn't know how to react; this was totally unexpected from her.

"Armaan, why didn't we go to honeymoon?" She asked out of blue and I choked on my breath. She surely was drunk.

"Huh?" That was all I could manage. She was the first woman in my life who rendered me speechless for the second time in the last one hour.

"In the orientation your colleagues were asking me. Why didn't we go?" She pouted which resulted in my gaze drifting down from her eyes to her lips.

"You want to go?" I asked her, wrapping my hands around her waist so as to keep her in place.

She nodded her head and rested her face against my chest and I felt the warmth of her skin against mine. That's when I realized that she had opened first two buttons of my shirt. And just like that she distracted me.

Ofcourse she might have wanted to go. I wondered why I hadn't thought of it before. With Riddhima, I started enjoying every single minute we were together that I didn't find the necessity to go to some place and enjoy. But then being a girl, she might have had a share of her dreams to go somewhere. I realized that amidst everything, I haven't even shown her in and around Hyderabad. I am glad she was drunk and letting out everything. Else I am not sure she would have ever told me about all these small desires of her.

"Where do you want to go, Riddhima?" I asked running my fingers in her hair. Oh! I just love doing that!

"Me?" she looked up at me. When I nodded, she seemed to be in a deep thought. "Anywhere you take me." She mumbled stifling a yawn and I knew she wouldn't be awake for long. "But I like to play in snow." She drawled, yawning away in glory.

As I caressed her back slowly in sync with her even breaths, I couldn't help but smile at the events of the last couple of hours. I could only adore her more for her innocence as well as boldness. But something changed for sure. I felt as if I have gained a deeper insight of who the real Riddhima is. And I closed my eyes with a goofy smile on my lips. I just couldn't wait for her to wake up.

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I hadn't been able to sleep properly last night, for whatsoever reason. So I spent the time in introspecting my relationship with Riddhima. When I looked back, I realized that we had come a long way. Though there hadn't been any physical relation between us, I realized I was strangely happy with the growth of our relationship. And with yesterday's behavior of hers, I knew she was yearning for the same I had been waiting for, but still, I could sense her slight hesitation.

I felt her stir in my arms and opened my eyes instantly. She rubbed her cold nose against my chest, which was bare thanks to her, and turned her head to the other side, her fists gripping my shirt tighter. Supposing she was feeling cold, I pulled the bed sheet closer to her. Slipping my palm inside her top, I rubbed her lower waist casually. But as soon as I did that, she jerked up, pushing me away. Startled I looked down at her to find her face pale, displaying strange fear. As I tried gauging her reaction, she just stared at me blankly. After a moment, she closed her eyes and sighed. While I gazed at her still confused, she threw herself in my arms and hugged me tight.

"You scared me." She said in a hoarse whisper.

"Oh!" I managed. "I didn't mean to. Sorry." I wrapped my arms around her and let her be until she was calm.

"My head aches." She declared after a few seconds, parting away and sitting on the bed.

I chuckled listening to her. Finally, the time has come. But with that frown adorning her forehead, she was uber cute that I decided my tease could wait. Grinning, I dipped my head to peck her lips but she stopped me just as I was about to place my lips on hers.

"I taste weird." She mumbled. As I raised my brow, she continued, "I mean – my mouth- I- its" She fumbled with words.

"You were drunk." I stated and her eyes widened as she sat up on the bed.

She frowned and I supposed she was trying to recall the events. But it only resulted in a blank face and I knew her attempt was futile. She then turned her attention looking at me expectantly.

But I just shrugged, "You might want to brush your teeth." and she got up from the bed, still in deep thought. When she disappeared into the washroom, I laughed silently.

Smiling I got up from the bed after a few seconds and moved to the washroom. There I found her, with the brush in her mouth, looking into the mirror on the wall lost in herself. I stood behind her and reached for my brush and toothpaste from around her waist. That broke her trance and she flustered when I leaned in, deliberately letting my body brush against hers. She quickly finished brushing her teeth, washed her face and slid away from me. But instead of moving out of the washroom, she sat on the slab beside the washbasin and I found her looking at me. I knew she wanted me to say something but I was in a mood to tease her. So I just smiled at her slightly and continued with my shaving. She stayed there for some time and then left. While shaving, I found her peeping into the washroom every now and then.

When I stepped out of the washroom, I found the room empty and heard some sound from the kitchen. So I supposed she was preparing breakfast. I wondered if she was feeling okay having said that her head was aching. I heard her come in when I was searching for my mobile.

"Armaan, did I do something last night?" she asked, in a small voice.

I put up a straight face. "Don't you remember?" I questioned back. She shook her head negatively lowering her eyes and I buried my face in my mobile lest I gave into my urge to laugh.

"I am sorry." My head shot up when I heard her broken voice. "I never drink, but then few of your colleagues came to meet me. They were expecting me to have a drink. I couldn't say no and –" Her voice trailed off and raised her eyes to meet mine. That's when I found her eyes filled with tears. All the fun abandoned me and I rushed to her throwing my mobile aside.

"Riddhima, are you crying?" I asked, standing infront of her after closing the door.

"Are you angry with me?" She asked, fidgeting with her fingers. "I swear I'll never drink again."

I wondered where she had concluded that from. "Woah Riddhima!! Where do you get all these ideas from? Who said I am angry with you?" I gathered her in my arms.

"You are not talking to me." She sniffed against my chest, wrapping her arms around my waist.

At the very moment I realized that she was a lot more sensitive than I had understood of her. For some reason, she always tends to feel the need to please me in some way or the other. Else she just freaks out.

"Ohooo Riddhima, I was having some fun. I am not angry with you." I said, hugging her.

She raised her head and looked at me, as if seeking some confirmation. I smiled and she sniffed again, resting her head against my chest. "You said you wanted to go on a honeymoon." I whispered, squeezing her little frame. But she went slightly stiff and drew apart. "You said that you like snow." I added, tightening my grip around her to make her stay put.

"I-" She opened her mouth to say something, "I-" She stammered and then lowered her eyes.

When I raised her head, as expected her cheeks and nose turned red; and she looked everywhere around the room avoiding my gaze. "Riddhima, look at me." I turned her face to me. "Your drunken state shouldn't be a medium for you to tell me about your wishes, Riddhima. If you want something, you can say it to me – be it honeymoon or " I stopped short of words as I remembered one more question of hers.

"I knew you were busy at office, you already took 15 days leave during marriage. So I thought, may be, you-" she started off and I waited to listen what she would say. But then she stopped midsentence and clarified. "I didn't mean it that way. I mean, I wanted to go but I mean, we can go but –" she messed it up and looked at me flushed.

I laughed out listening to her ramble. "What am I going to do with you, Riddhima!" I thought aloud and she hid her face in my neck. Just as I was enjoying the moment, she broke apart, mumbled something like 'cooker whistle' and ran away leaving me with a wide grin.

I the ring of my mobile, distracted me and the already wide smile on my face widened, if that was possible, looking at the name of the caller.

"Hello mom, how are you?" I asked cheerfully, sitting on the bed.

"I am good Armaan. How are you, Riddhima and Rahul?" she asked.

"Fine mom, I miss you." I said.

"Yeah yeah, I know how much you miss me. So much that you don't even bother with calling me." She teased and I chuckled. "Riddhima was telling that she would be joining office from next week, is it?" She asked.

"Yeah, mom. She had her orientation yesterday." I informed.

"So I was wondering if three of you could come home for the three or four days." She said hesitantly.

"I don't think that's possible mom. With the new hires joining next week, we had lots of work." I said.

"Oh okay. Then, you can send Riddhima for few days. She wouldn't be having any offs once she joins the office." She said.

The idea didn't appeal to me. I knew it was completely insensitive of me to think that way but I didn't want to send Riddhima there. Or to put it right, maybe I didn't want to stay alone without her. But I knew mom would have been missing her taking into account the way they had bonded for the past few months. And I couldn't say no.

"Okay, mom. I'll send Riddhima for the evening flight. I'll come over for the weekend to get her back." I replied, halfheartedly.

"Perfect." I heard her excitement and smiled. "Is she busy now?" She asked.

"In the kitchen." I replied. "Hold on for a moment, I'll give it to her."

"No, let her do her work. I'll call her later." She replied.

"Okay. Bye mom." I cut the call and Riddhima came in with a pile of ironed clothes. "Mom just called." I told her and her face brightened immediately. "She asked us to come home for few days." She smiled wider.

"When are we going then?" she asked, her voice chirpy.

"I am not coming. I'll book you a flight ticket in the evening today. I'll come for the weekend to get you." I told, trying to read her expressions.

"Oh!" Her face fell slightly and I wished she would say she wanted to stay here. "Okay then." She said and left the room.

I hoped she would say something like the last time if I would be able to do my laundry or eat takeaways and I literally prepared my mind to pick up any hint she would give; but in vain. She might want to meet mom, I consoled my disappointed heart and pulled my laptop to book a ticket for her.

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"Hey Armaan, mail me the document of new hire's competencies." Archana greeted me with an intercom call when I reached office.

"Yeah sure, in a minute." I told her and searched my bag for the hard disk. When I didn't find it, I remembered that I had worked on it at home in the morning. I might have left it on the bed, I thought and dialed Riddhima's number.

She didn't take the call even after five minutes and I supposed she was taking a bath. I remembered her telling me that she takes bath after I left for office. However I have to go home to get the disk as it was important for the mapping to be done today. So I made up my mind to go home and get it.

"Archana, I forgot the disk which contained the competency documents at home. I'll go and get it. Inform Ankit if he comes for me." I told her and left the office.

Reaching the flat, I rang the bell, but she didn't open it. With a spare key, I unlocked the door and entered in. The living room was empty confirming that she might be taking a bath. I went to the bed room and sighed in relief to find the disk still on the bed.

"Armaan?" I heard Riddhima's voice and turned around to find her emerging out of the washroom.

"I forgot the di-" My words trailed off when I took in her appearance.

My old white shirt hung loosely around her body ending just below her mid thighs, with her hair dripping wet and her skin glowing from the bath. She didn't bother with buttoning up the first two buttons and I could see her swelled flesh peeking out of the intoxicating V formed by the shirt below her neck. I swallowed the lump that formed at my throat as my eyes darted down her figure.

She didn't expect me even the slightest for she stood as still as me at the washroom door. As if in a spell, I found myself taking slow steps towards her while she stood rooted to the spot. I didn't realize that the hard disk was no longer in my hand until I found my hand reaching for her wet hair, running my fingers in them smoothening the damp curls. I watched her eyes drifting shut slowly and a flicker of a movement caught my attention. Something like a pearl. I watched in fascination as a drop of water slid gracefully down her forehead, tracing the path of her temple, jawbone, side of her neck and finally disappeared behind the collar of the shirt. Just like that I grew hard.

With a low groan, I dipped my head and sucked another droplet that made its way down her neck. She quivered. I felt her pulling my shirt at my waist as I kept myself busy with clearing all the droplets off her neck. She leaned onto me with a throaty moan when I nipped her neck. Her body sagged against mine while I held her firmly in place with one hand around her waist and the other sprawled against her back. I left wet kisses that were urgent and desperate, around her neck and throat. I felt a fierce adrenaline push in my head when I heard her tiny moans slipping out of her lips.

I drew back to look at her face for just a second. And my control snapped. With a softly uttered curse, I pulled her hard against me and smacked my lips on hers. Oh God! She tasted sweet and smelled good like some jasmines. My hand rose to her nape, and I angled her face the right way just before deepening the kiss. I felt like an 18 year old teenager as she eased her lips open letting me in. I reminded my mind that I had to be easy on her but my body seemed to have a mind of its own. She pressed against my body and with the pebbled tips of her breasts grounding against my shirt, I forgot about being easy and gently. All I was aware of was the soft flesh against my body and that I wanted more of it.

With a lazy movement, my hand that cupped her nape slid down and slowly pushed the collar of the shirt aside. I felt her caressing my nape before her fingers fisted my hair just the right way to add fuel to the already burning desire in my body. A moment later my mouth followed the path traced by my hand and left lusty kisses on her neck, collar bone before moving to her shoulder. She flinched in my hold as my teeth caught hold of her skin at just below her collar bone. I sucked the skin and went back to claim her mouth. But my hand that held her shoulder followed the opposite path of my mouth and slid lower reaching for the extremely soft flesh of hers that I had been dreaming to touch for a long time.

All of a sudden, I felt her warm and soft body in my arms grow cold and stiff. My instinct told me to back off and that something was wrong, but my heart hadn't got its fill and I continued probing her lips wildly. But it didn't take my senses to realize that she had stopped responding and when they did, I drew back and was appalled at the sight.

Riddhima stared right back into my eyes with hers full of fear and her face contorted as if in deep pain. That's when I realized where one of my palms was and that I was feeling her up. "Please, let me go!" I heard her plead and froze. I whipped my hand back from her body and stumbled back, my fogged brain trying to understand what was happening. Her entire body began to shake and she backed away, tears flowing down her cheeks. As I stared at her utterly stupefied, she held the shirt closer to her body and ran into the washroom and closed the door before I could stop her.

I ran a shaking hand in my hair and wondered what on earth had happened. One moment she was as willing as I am and the next moment, she was as rigid as a stick. The way she groped her shirt and held it close to her body made me appear like a bully who was forcing himself on her. And that fear in her eyes. What was that for? Wasn't she the one who was ready to strip when I was watching? And my confusion turned into panic when I heard her sobbing behind the door.

"Riddhima, open the door." I knocked the door. "Please, talk to me. You know that I won't hurt you, don't you? What happened?"

But all I could hear to were her sobs and sniffs; and I paced infront of the door trying to find a way. What should I do? Should I call mom? But what would I tell her? I racked my brain and slowly I felt my panic giving away to frustration.

I knocked the door again. "Riddhima, open the damn door!!" I yelled in frustration. She didn't reply and I felt myself going crazy. "Riddhima, I will call mom if you don't open the door. Open the f***ing door!!" I kicked the door hard. "Riddh-" I swallowed my words as the door opened revealing a trembling Riddhima clutching her shirt tightly.

I rushed to her and was glad when she didn't leap back. "Riddhima, what happened?" I asked struggling to keep my voice in control. "I thought you wanted it too and-"

"I am sorry." She cut my sentence and whispered but refused to meet my eyes.

Sorry? Sorry!!That agitated me more. "F**k with your sorry!! Just tell me what's wrong!!" I yelled in mad rage. She winced and stumbled back hitting the wall.

My gaze softened and guilt took over realizing that I was scaring her more. "Riddhima, what's wrong?" I asked her holding her shoulder gently. "Everything was going fine, until you- I promise I won't do anything that will ever hurt you."

The thought that she might have broken down due to what had transpired between us stabbed my heart. But I had kissed her before, didn't I? Never did she behave like that. Except that today I touched her. How was I to know what had happened unless she opened her mouth and spoke of it? I felt my mobile vibrating in my pocket but I chose to ignore it. Everything else could wait.

"I- I am – sorry." She whispered again and I lost it.

"To hell with your sorry!!" I barked at her and stormed out of the room banging the door shut.

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All day, I had been in a very foul mood. I called Riddhima's mobile as soon as I reached office but she didn't take the call. I was so angry that I yelled at my intern, messed up the mapping documents, went late for the conference and snapped at Rahul when he tried to talk to me. Not in a mood to face her, I asked Rahul to drop Riddhima at the airport. And I was glad when he didn't question me further.

When he left for home, I held my head in my hands and closed my eyes. What the hell had happened? Just a few hours ago, I was a happy man so much that I almost forgot about mom. But then now I was completely messed up.

My mobile rang as I was buried in my misery. I looked at the screen to notice Riddhima calling. Tired and hurt, I cut her call only to watch her calling again. Next it was Rahul calling. I cut the call and then switched the phone off and threw it aside. As I closed my eyes, I couldn't help but wonder about how on earth did I land up here?

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sushmita

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