Monday, 24 February 2020

Part 24 : I See You!

Ananya poured herself a glass of juice and settled in her chair to enjoy her breakfast with her husband and sons. She looked up to see Armaan striding quickly towards the dinning table Ananya couldn't help but smile.

Ananya: you're dressed for work!!

Armaan gave her a quick smile: I have an early meeting, I'm in a hurry.

Ananya: fine! But have some breakfast.

Armaan sat down and poured himself a cup of coffee making Ananya shake her head at him: eat something!

Armaan: sorry maa! I'm getting late.

Billy who was till now buried in the newspaper put it down and looked at armaan: you've heard your mother, now eat something.

Ananya: have some eggs? (she offered him the dish)

Armaan glanced at his watch and then smiled at his mother: sure!(he scooped up some scrambled egg on his plate)

Armaan frowned inwardly he was in a hurry but not for a business meeting. He had woken in the morning with the thoughts of shilpa. His mother had involved shilpa in the wedding preparations, even though he saw shilpa almost daily it was enough. They hardly ever got the time to being alone or just to sit and have a tea or coffee together. So he had a plan he was going to shilpa's place first thing in the morning preferably have breakfast with her and then go to office.

Ananya smiled to herself as she saw Armaan glance at his watch again, she looked at her watch and counted to ten herself; and looked up.

Ananya smiled as she saw shilpa walking towards them.

Shilpa: hello everyone! Seems I'm a bit early as you all are having breakfast.

Armaan's neck snapped in the direction of the voice when shilpa spoke, his scowl transformed into a smile as he looked at shilpa looking fresh as a spring rose in baby pink kurti paired with blue denims.

Shilpa flicked her gaze towards Armaan and saw a lazy smile spread across his face. She tried not to stare but he looked so handsome with his hair still wet though styled away from his forehead. He sat in his shirtsleeves, his shirt pristine and crisp, his jaw freshly shaven making her fingers itch to trace the line of his jaw.

With some difficulty she tore her gaze away from armaan and smiled at Ananya.

Ananya smiled back at shilpa: come beta! You are not early, I was expecting you, come have breakfast with us.(shilpa hesitated then moved to sit opposite Ananya )Shilpa why don't you sit next to Armaan. (Armaan was sitting opposite his father on the opposite end of the table.)

Armaan stood up to help shilpa sit and for a briefest of second his hands brushed her arm then he was back in his chair. Shilpa gave him a furtive glance then focused back on Ananya who looked like a cat who just had cream.

Ananya: I had invited Shilpa for breakfast so that we could discuss the wedding plans (just then Rahul came and plopped down in the chair opposite shilpa on the other side of armaan)but first we have breakfast. Shilpa pour yourself some juice.

Shilpa picked up the jug pouring herself some juice and then starting pouring for armaan.

Armaan: no! I'm having coffee.

Shilpa looked up at him and continued pouring, Armaan looked at shilpa who sat down and took a sip of her juice. Armaan kept gazing at her as she smiled at his family who were chatting away, armaan picked up the juice and took a sip all the time looking at shilpa. Sensing his gaze shilpa looked at him, armaan kept looking at her as he continued to sip the juice making Shilpa smile.

Billy observed the play between armaan and shilpa and looked at his wife: see that?

Ananya: lets just watch(with a twinkle in her eyes) Rahul! Comeone eat your breakfast.

Armaan picked up the platter of scrambled eggs and dished some out for shilpa, shilpa picked a couple slices of bread and dropped them on his plate without saying a word. They both started to eat making Ananya whisper to Billy: did you see that? When has armaan ever sit down to eating breakfast. Its such a battle but look at him now shilpa didn't even say anything to him.

Billy looked at his son's content expression as he looked at shilpa: he's happy! For the first time I have seen armaan bone deep, deep in your gut happy.(glancing back at his wife) he loves her, absolutely!

Ananya blinked back tears of happiness: our armaan has changed! Shilpa has changed him.

Shilpa shifted her eyes towards armaan as she swallowed the last bite of the egg and found armaan looking at her steadily.

Armaan quirked a brow at her: coffee?

Shilpa couldn't help but smile: coffee! She poured him a fresh cup and herself settled for another glass of juice. Armaan leaned close and enclosed her hand in his, threading his fingers through hers. Shilpa looked at their joined hands on the table and squeezed his hand in return.

Rahul seeing his brother's preoccupation: hey bro! aren't you getting late for your meeting.

Armaan smiled lazily: no!

Rahul: no? dad did you hear that, now that shilpa is here now there is no hurry.

Shilpa looked at armaan: you have a meeting?

Rahul: ask me, shilpa!since he has woke up in the morning all I have heard is that he has a meeting, when maa asked him to have breakfast he said he was getting late.

Armaan sitting back: so! I just had breakfast with family.

Ananya with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes: and I appreciate that, so now you can go to the office, Shilpa and I have lots of work to do.

Ananya got up, as did everyone else along with Armaan and shilpa, who still held on to shilpa's hand. Ananya without glancing back: come along shilpa!

Shilpa: yes aunty ji!(shilpa tried to move forward to follow ananya only to be pulled up short by armaan who still held on to her hand) armaan!

Armaan: stay!

Shilpa looked towards the departing figures of Ananya and turned back to armaan: Aunty needs me!

Armaan wrapped an arm around her waist while he brought their joined hands up to his chest: I need you too

Shilpa stilled at his words: what about your meeting?(tilting her head to look in his eyes)

Armaan smoothed a hand over her hair and smiled: I was coming over to meet you.(shilpa looked surprised making armaan smile) it had been so many days that I had talked to you.

Shilpa: we met yesterday! When you came back from office I was here with Auntyjji.

Armaan: you were but we hardly talked, for the past 2 weeks we haven't got the chance to be alone.(Shilpa looked into his eyes and understood what he meant, armaan smiled) I missed you.

Shilpa: tell me?

Armaan lifted his hand and smoothed his hand down the side of her face, down her neck to her shoulder: I missed the softness of your skin, it feels like silk under my hand(he pulled her body closer to his) I missed the thunder of your heart next to mine which makes me feel that it beats only for me(shilpa felt her heat beat even faster at his nearness, armaan looked into her eyes) but most of all I missed looking into your eyes where I can see myself always, not what the world expects me to be but what I am.

Shilpa wrapped her arms around armaan and buried her face in the crook of his neck. Her heart was beating eratically, she tightened her arms around armaan not wanting to let go. He loved her so much her heart felt like bursting with the knowledge, his words had been a gift and she wanted to give him something in return.

Without looking up shilpa spoke her words though low were meant only for armaan: I missed your scent(she inhaled letting the scent of his after shave and his own unique scent fill her lungs) without you my world looks empty armaan(she lifted her head and looked directly into his eyes) without you I feel empty. So yes I miss you every single minute of every single day away from you.

Armaan lifted one of her hands and pressed a kiss to her palm, a kiss of reverence: there has never been anyone like you shilpa. There is never going to be any one else. If I could I'll keep you with me always.(he pressed a kiss to her forehead, then her eyes)

Shilpa raised her hands and grasped his face looking into his eyes and thought that words were just not enough to express what she felt for this man.

"Shilpa! Where are you?," came Ananya's voice calling for shilpa. For a second both stood the way they were, not moving.

Ananya: Shilpa!

Shilpa smoothed her hands down the side of his face to rest them on his shoulders: I have to go

Armaan smiled crookedly: I thought that was my line.(still holding on to her)

Shilpa smiled as she smoothed her hand down his broad shoulders, straightening his tie and then looked back up at him: let go!

Armaan: you step back and I'll let you go.

Shilpa smile faded as she answerd him in all seriousness: I can't!(her longing apparent in her voice)

Armaan traced a finger down shilpa's cheek to play lightly with her bottom lip, shilpa could feel tension tightening his body and then abruptly he took a step back breaking the spell. Shilpa stepped back: I have to go!(her eyes unable to let go of the sight of him)

Armaan stood there quietly just looking at her, shilpa took a deep breath and turned to walk away only to be brought up short as armaan still held on to one of her hand. Shilpa turned: Armaan!(looking at her hand clasped within his strong hand, imploring him to let go)

With one jerk of his hand armaan brought shilpa crashing back into his body and then his mouth covered hers. Shilpa forgot where she was, she even forgot her own name so lost she was in the feelings armaan evoked in her. Her hands came up on their own to caress his hair and then tugging them to bring him even closer. Armaan wanted to absorb shilpa into himself, even as his mouth slanted across her soft mouth devouring her he felt an insatiable hunger for her. He tore his mouth away from her pressing it to the side of her face.

Shilpa kept holding on to armaan's arms as she pulled back, armaan pressed his forehead against shilpa's.

Shilpa closed her eyes trying to get her breath under control: Aunty is calling me

Armaan took a step back but still held on to her: I have to go

Shilpa nodded waiting for him to let go of her hand: Armaan!(she took a step back breaking body contact)

Armaan keeping hold of her hand: will you be here when I come in the evening?

Shilpa: yes! (a smile bloomed on armaan's face with an answering smileon shilpa)

Armaan let go of shilpa's hand, he collected his jacket and briefcase, then quickly walked out. Shilpa also went in search of Ananya who was sitting in the lounge with her planner. Shilpa went to her and on her approach: Shilpa finally armaan has left, good! Now lets get some work done.

Event organizers came with whom Ananya discussed every aspect of the celebrations, menu was decided with the caterers. By afternoon shilpa's head was reling with wedding details but Ananya was just warming up. After lunch the jewelers came over as different pieces were to be selected for both muskaan and Rahul.

Ananya held out a maala of pearls: I think this would do for Rahul

Shilpa curious: when will he wear it.

Ananya smiled: on his wedding day, when he is dressed as the groom you will make him wear it.

Shilpa not understanding: I'll make him wear it?

Ananya exasperated: well you are the his bhabi, so you are going to gift it it to your devar.

Shilpa stammered: Auntyji I'm not! I mean Armaan and I haven't decided anything.

Ananya couldn't help but smile at a flustered shilpa: beta! What is there to decide? I'm thinking of getting you married along with Rahul and muskaan.

Shilpa: no! Auntyji I don't think it is a good time I mean its Rahul and muskaan's special occasion I don't want to do anything to shift the limelight away from them.

Ananya shook her head: I should've known you and armaan both think alike. But I'm going to have a talk with armaan.

It was evening when armaan came home his eyes searching for shilpa and he found her in the heart of his family. His parents were sitting in the lounge along with Rahul surrounded with card samples and other wedding stuff. Shilpa sat beside his father laughing at something Rahul was saying, still laughing she glanced at his father who looked back at her with affection. In that one moment he saw his entire future and he knew what he wanted.

Shilpa saw armaan standing looking at them: Armaan! You are back.

Armaan walked towards her as shilpa made her way through the wedding stuff scattered on the floor: you stayed?

Shilpa: you wanted me here!

Armaan clasped her hand: forever!

Shilpa looked into his eyes and saw a promise for tomorrow's to come, armaan without taking his eyes away from shilpa: Maa!

Ananya: Armaan come here and help me your father and Rahul are no help.

Armaan stared walking towards Ananya with shilpa's hand clasped in his: I wanted to remind you to call Shilpa's maasi and invite her to the wedding.

Ananya looked at armaan and smiled: only to the wedding?

Armaan smiled back and then lifted shilpa's and his joined hands together, kissing them lightly: we'll start with this wedding.


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