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"Oh God! Why on earth did I have to say "Armaan" in front of Muskaan! Ab toh woh mujhe kabhi nahi chchodegi! Aaaj subah bhi dono milkar mujhe Armaan ke saath tease kar rahe the!!! Itne saalon se main Muski aur Rahul ko chidhane ki superiority enjoy kar rahi thi kyunki mujhe kabhi koi thoda sa bhi pasand nahi aaya. Aur ab yeh Armaan. Ek toh hot dikhta hai upar se usne kal kitne sweetly mujhe sorry bola ki mera saara gussa gayab! Yeh SAB uska fault hai. Na woh itna handsome hota toh na woh mere sapnon mein aata aur na main Muski ke saamne uska naam leti! Ab toh Rahul aur Muski mujhe chidhaane mein koi kasar nahi chchodenge. Arrghhh!!! Damn you Armaan." said Riddhima muttering to herself while entering the office.
"Shit Armaan. Tujhe ho kya gaya hai dude? Tujhe sab jagah Riddhima dikhaay deti hai! Saara din aas paas hoti hai. Raat ko bhi neend haraam ka ke rakh deti hai. Aur ab toh mom ko bhi sab pata hai aur woh bhi mujhe RIDDHIMA ke saath tease karti hai! Meri izzat ki toh aisi ki taisi ho jaayegi agar yeh stupid behavior chaalu raha toh. I mean come on man! I'm Armaan. Armaan Malik. Mujhe duniya ki koi bhi ladki mil sakti hai! Toh mera brain Riddhima pe aake kyun atak jaata hai? Yeh SAB uska fault hai. Na woh itni beautiful hoti toh na woh mere sapnon mein aati aur na mom mujhe tease karti. Arghhh!!! Damn you Riddhima!" said Armaan walking towards his cabin not really noticing anyone on the way.
Just then- *crash*
Riddhima had been walking towards her cabin still fuming over Armaan when she tripped over something and felt herself fall, only to be caught by someone.
Armaan was just turning around the corner cursing his situation only to crash into HER. He saw her falling and caught her in his arms. He smiled looking at her. Her eyes were shut tight as if she didn't know what was going to happen to her and was scared of the unknown. She was so beautiful and holding her felt so right.
Riddhima felt herself being caught by someone. She shut her eyes tight. It was a habit of hers. She always shut her eyes tight when she was afraid of what was going to happen. But to her surprise she hadn't fallen. She opened her eyes only to look into those vivid blue eyes that had plagued her dreams oh-so-often.
"Armaan.......woh umm I need to uh......" she stuttered a little feeling the intensity of his gaze and not being able to withstand it anymore.
Armaan was startled out of his reverie. "What the hell dude? Tu use idiot ki tarah stare kyun kar raha hai? Chchod use!" he said, chiding himself for his lack in self control. Aloud he said, "Haan....... woh umm tum gir rahi thi toh..... isliye maine tumhe pakda. Tum theek ho?"
"Haan. I'm okay. In fact I'm sorry. Woh main kuch soch rahi thi toh maine tumhe dekha hi nahi! Tumhe lagi toh nahi?"
"No no. It's all right. Main bhi toh soch main tha! I'll help you pick up your stuff."
They sat down simultaneously causing their heads to bang into each other.
"Oh shit! I'm so sorry Riddhima! Are you all right? Apna haath hataao aur mujhe dekhne do."
He looked at her rubbing her hand across her forehead. Her face was all scrunched up due to pain and her forehead was a little red where their heads had clashed. She looked like a child. So innocent and so, so adorable!
His face split into a grin at this sight and he removed her hand from her forehead and went closer to look at it. Armaan rubbed his thumb over the redness and blew air over it to sooth her. He repeated that till she stopped wincing at the pain. And then without thinking he kissed the red spot.
Riddhima meanwhile was feeling completely out of control and having Armaan so close to her created havoc with her senses. She could smell his unique scent. He was that close and boy was she distracted! Forgetting her pain completely she just enjoyed the sensation his hands rubbing over the red spot produced. But she was soon startled as she felt his lips on her forehead. She wondered what the hell he was doing! Did he have ANY idea what this proximity did to her? Probably not. Must be usual for him. After all he was a playboy..........
Blushing profusely for the SECOND time in a space of few hours [what on earth was wrong with her?] she gathered her stuff clumsily and escaped as fast as she could and Armaan still shocked by his oh-so-spontaneous kiss, picked up the files and went to his cabin without delay; both of them cursing their self control ................ or rather, their lack of it.
It was 4 pm when Armaan finally got up to have a cup of coffee and walk around a bit, when he heard animated voices from Riddhima's cabin. Curious, he went in that direction to check just in case it was an argument. To his surprise he saw an old couple happily talking to Riddhima but although it was loud enough he couldn't understand a word of it! Going closer he realized that she was speaking in Spanish and the old couple was none other than Mr. Stefano Luchessi and his wife Katrina Luchessi! They were old, rich and rigid Spaniards who planned to shift to New York and had come to them to get their house redecorated.
Armaan remembered them very well. They were the most troublesome customers he'd ever encountered. They rejected every single design made by his team and to top it all off they barely spoke English! The Luchessi's were a nightmare for everyone in their firm and here they were, laughing and smiling with Riddhima and chattering away in Spanish like they'd known her all their lives! He was impressed. He had deliberately given their project to Riddhima and she had successfully overcome all the problems. If only she's work in his firm. She was truly an asset! Maybe now that they were sort of friends, he could hope convince her.....maybe.
He quietly signaled Tracy, Joe, Nick, and Ashley, his team of designers, to come next to him and witness the miracle.
They all came and were shocked at the sight that awaited them.
"Is that seriously Mr. and Mrs. Luchessi?" asked Tracy.
"And they're SMILING? And laughing?? Oh my God!" exclaimed Ashley.
"Why can't I get a word of what they're saying?" asked Joe.
"And who the hell is that miracle worker who managed to make the Luchessi's SMILE?" asked Nick.
"Guys guys guys!! Chill and don't be so loud! They might hear you! Tracy, they really are the Luchessi's and yes Ash, they ARE smiling and laughing. Joe, dude you can't understand because that's Spanish they're speaking in and Nick the miracle worker is none other than Riddhima Gupta." Armaan replied grinning from ear to ear at their incredulous faces.
"WOW. I never knew Riddhima was so damn talented and linguistic too!" said Nick, clearly surprised.
"Me neither!" said Joe and Ashley.
"Let's wait for her out here and then we'll get some more info and maybe a few tips on dealing with clients like these. We could sure use them! You should employ her Armaan. She's awesome." Tracy said.
"Believe me. I've asked her! But she refused. I hope to convince her though! She would be very useful!" said Armaan.
Just then the door to her cabin opened and the Luchessi's came out saying, "Bye! You really must visit us sometime chica." while kissing Riddhima on both cheeks leaving Joe, Tracy, Ashley, Noah and Armaan stupefied.
"Bye! I'll definitely visit you guys!" said Riddhima warmly and just as she was about to go in and close the door she saw them.
"Armaan? Joe? Ash? Tracy? Nick? What are you guys doing here? And why do you look so shocked? What's up?"
She looked at them, puzzled. They were all her friends but they usually met at lunch time but lunch was already over and she'd told them to go ahead without her. Joe and Tracy were married and had a 5 year old daughter Michaela. Riddhima had seen her and she was cuteness personified! Nick was actually Nicholaides Aristedes, and was a Greek billionaire. He was filthy rich after he inherited all his parents' wealth after their death, but preferred not to show it and was honestly a nice guy. He'd bonded with Riddhima over music and had a huge crush on Ashley but didn't have the guts to tell her. Ashley Peterson was one of the prettiest girls in the office but she wasn't aware of her beauty and was a genuinely nice person who had been crushing on Nick since ages and looked up to Riddhima as a sister.
"Hello??? Anybody home? I'm talking to you guys! What happened?" she asked them again.
"We can't do this here. Let's go to the cafeteria for coffee or something. Anyway it's 4:30 pm and our shifts are about to end! What say?" said Tracy finally breaking the silence.
"Okay sure! Let me just go pack my stuff. I'll meet you at the caf in five!" said Riddhima.
"All right then!"
In the Cafeteria-
"So what will you guys have? I'll place the order." said Ashley.
"I'll have a latte and get me one of those huge chocolate chip cookies!" said Riddhima.
"Joe and I will have a black coffee with 2 spoons of sugar!" said Tracy.
"I'll have a black coffee, no sugar." said Armaan chuckling at Riddhima's disgusted face when she heard his choice of coffee.
"And I'll have a cappuccino." said Nick.
"Okay! I'll be right back!" said Ashley.
"Umm ..... Ash? Wait up! I'll come with you!" said Nick.
"Sure!" said Ashley, smiling widely.
"Those two are so hopeless. WHEN will one of them say something! It's been 3 years!!!" said Riddhima looking at their retreating backs.
"You know about them?!" asked Tracy, Joe and Armaan incredulously.
"Well yeah. It's not like it's a national secret! Ash confessed when I caught her staring at Nick and Nick confessed when I saw him sketching Ash while she wasn't looking. Adorable they are!" she said grinning at their innocent love.
"Yeah....... They should confess soon..... 3 years is a helluva long time! Most people don't even stay in a relationship that long! We should do something!" said Tracy.
"Ah! There's Tracy in her match making mode!" said Armaan and gave Joe a high five while the girls laughed.
Soon Tracy came up with a plan and they decided it was perfect.
Just then Nick and Ashley came back with their coffees and a few cookies and asked, "What are you guys grinning about?"
"Nothing!" they replied.
"Okay guys first things first. Now that all of us are here, would any of you mind telling me what all of you were doing outside my office a while ago?" asked Riddhima.
"Riddhima, do you know that old couple?" asked Ashley.
"Yeah! Stefano and Katrina Luchessi! They were so sweet!"
"Have you met them before or something??" asked Joe astonished at the fact that she used sweet and Luchessi in the same sentence.
"Naah! Actually they wanted to see the designs I'd prepared for them and so they came to the office. By the way Armaan, they really liked the designs and said they wish to continue!"
"REALLY?" asked Armaan surprised.
"All right, that's it. Why are you guys so skeptical about this whole Luchessi thing! I'm not lying for God's sake!" said Riddhima confused at their astonished faces.
"Wait. I'll explain." said Nick. "The Luchessi's are our most difficult clients. They are rigid, they don't like our designs and they barely speak English! So they're usually a problem for us because there is such a huge gap in communication! But today we saw them in your office smiling and laughing with you like they'd known you their entire lives! So we're all shocked. In a good way!"
"Oh! But they really weren't that difficult. In fact they were so charming! But I guess it was easy for me to talk to them because I knew Spanish!" said Riddhima.
"Whatever be the reason baby! Point is we owe you one!" said Joe laughing.
"But Riddhima I never knew you were so fluent in Spanish!" said Armaan.
"Armaan, there's a LOT of things you don't know about me!" she replied smiling widely.
"Okay then. Let's get to know you!" said Tracy.
"Know me? I didn't get you!" said Riddhima.
"It means we ask you questions turn by turn and you answer them! You can ask an occasional question too! It'll be awesome! You have to answer as honestly as possible." said Ashley, excited to play.
"Okay! Ask away!"
"Me first!" said Tracy, "I'm going to ask you your bio-data! Full name?"
Armaan was just going to stop Tracy but Riddhima gave him a look and silenced him.
"I don't know. I've lived in an orphanage my entire life."
"I'm sorry." said Tracy quietly.
"It's okay! Don't be!" said Riddhima smiling at her, reassuring her that she wasn't offended.
"My turn now!" said Ashley. "Okay, tell us 3 things we don't know about you and we'd be surprised to find out!"
"Three things..... One- I'm fluent in 5 languages apart from English- Russian, Spanish, French, Hindi and German. Two- I play awesome football! Okay that sounded a little vain. But I'm pretty good! And Three- I know 3 dance forms; hip hop, ballet and salsa"
"WOW. That is super awesome! Where did you find the time to do all this?" asked Ashley.
"I don't know. I liked keeping myself busy so....." she glanced at Armaan who seemed lost in thought.
"All right! My turn now." said Joe. "What are your views on love?"
Armaan looked up as he heard that question. His desire to know more of Riddhima had ignited even more than before. She was an enigma. A puzzle. A puzzle he wanted to unravel. He'd been quiet throughout the game and had sensed that there was something more behind her answer "I just liked keeping myself busy'" but also knew she wanted to avoid the topic. Throughout the game he'd just stared at this gorgeous girl next to him and would've kept on staring had he not heard Joe's question. Something told him that her answer would surprise them yet again.
"Love? I don't believe in it." said Riddhima her voice bitter.
"You don't believe in love? How can you not?!" asked Tracy shocked.
"Believe me. I have my reasons. But I think what I wanted to say came out wrong. It's not like I don't believe in the existence of love. Oh it exists all right. Two of my friends are n love with each other, Tracy, Joe you guys love each other too but what I meant is that I personally will never fall in love and I don't believe love is out there for ME. So love exists but not for me. But since you asked me what I think of it I'll answer. What I think of love is expressed amazingly by this quote. "Love is the giving someone the power to destroy you but trusting them not to use it." Rightly said isn't it?"
"Yeah it's so true....." Tracy replied and the atmosphere grew a little somber while people reflected over that simple quote which held deep meaning.
Sensing the grim atmosphere, Armaan said, "Guys! Don't get all serious man! Okay well it's my turn now but you guys already asked her so much so I'll have to think of something."
"Umm what are your hobbies? And your favorite color? And favorite food?" he asked her smiling at her.
"Uh umm..... I love reading, listening to music, sketching and playing soccer! And what was the second question?" she asked, momentarily dazzled by his dimpled smile.
"Favorite color and food." he smirked, knowing full well the effect he had on her.
"Oh right. It's blue and white. And I love Italian, Mexican and Indian food." she said, blushing a little because she saw that he knew the effect he had on her. Great! He probably thought she was behaving like a school girl. Way to go Ridzy.....
Armaan saw her flush. She looked beautiful, like always and innocent.
"Phew! That's enough questions for me, now I'll ask you something!" said Riddhima, pushing away thoughts of Armaan and nudging Armaan and Tracy to tell them that their plan to make Nick confess was on.
"Sure! Go ahead!" they said.
"Okay now I don't have a question but Nick if I ask you to do something for me then will you do it? Not like a dare or something. You have to mean it."
"Yeah. Okay. I'll do it!"
"Promise me you'll do it. Remember Ash told us in the beginning itself that we have to do it as honestly as possible."
"I promise. Now tell me."
Riddhima got up and whispered something in his ear.
"You're not serious??? I can't do that!" he said, alarmed.
"Of course you can! You have to!!! It's about time! Come on! Please?"
"Fine. I'll do it. But don't make fun of me if I fail."
"I won't! Promise. Believe me; you'll be thanking me soon!"
Nodding at her nervously Nick went to Ashley, picked up a flower from the vase on the caf table and to Ashley's surprise he bent down on one knee and said, "Ashley Peterson. I've known you since I was 10 and I've loved you since I was 15. I've been meaning to ask this since ages-Will you be my girlfriend?"
Ashley was overwhelmed and just whispered "Yes." Nick got up and hugged her and to everyone's surprise, the usually shy Ashley kissed Nick passionately while the rest of them whistled and shouted, "Get a ROOM!"
Embarrassed they stepped away, and said thank you to the rest of them for finally making Nick confess.
Riddhima mock scolded them and said, "Nick! You told all of us you liked her since the last 3 years! You liar!"
"Sorry guys...... I was just shy I guess. Both of us went to the same school and university too." he said, smiling sheepishly.
"Dude, you were with her since that long and you didn't confess? I'm scared to even imagine how long you'd have taken were it not for geniuses like us!" said Riddhima hugging both of them.
"Yeah anyway, we better leave now! It's 7! And we'll give you guys some alone time." said Armaan grinning mischievously at them.
"Yeah!" said Riddhima laughing.
Soon Tracy and Joe left for home and Riddhima was left alone with Armaan.
"I love playing football too you know. Wanna play sometime?" asked Armaan hesitantly.
"Sure! It's a date!" she said. Realizing how it might have come out, she amended by saying, "Not like a date, date but ..... umm sure!"
"How about tomorrow? It's a weekend! We'll meet at my house at 5 in the evening. The weather should be good. There's a huge garden and two goal posts that we can use." he said smiling widely now that she'd accepted.
"Sure! I'd love it! I've been longing to play since I've come here but no one I know likes foot ball!" said Riddhima chuckling.
With that they bid each other good-bye looking forward to tomorrow's non-date!
After a while-
"Hi Ridzy! Aa gayi office se?" asked Muskaan from the kitchen.
"Haan Muski! Rahul tere saath aaya ya phir late aayega? Jo bhi ho, tu na khaana laga mujhe badi bhook lagi hai. Aaj kaam hi kaam mein lunch miss kar diya!"
"Haan Rahul ghar par hi hai. Shower le raha hai. Tu bhi fresh hokar aa phir saath mein khaana khaate hain!"
After a while Riddhima and Rahul both came and sat on the table expectantly, waiting for dinner.
"Hi Ridzy! Office kaisa tha?" asked Rahul.
"Acha tha ..... tera?" Ridhima replied grinning as she recalled the "game". It'd been so much fun! She was happy for Nick and Ash. Besides she also had a non-date for football with Armaan!
"Acha tha ..... par tujhe itni hasi kyun aa rahi hai?"
"Haan bataana Ridzy! Kuch special hua tha kya?" asked Muskaan joining them on the table.
"Haan! Aaj office mein seriously bahot mazaa aaya. Actually sabka kaam jaldi khatam ho gaya that oh hum sab caf mein mile the. Phir wahan pe they all asked me questions and stuff to know me better! Armaan also played! And you know what?? Armaan is a football freak too!!! He promised me a match tomorrow! Which reminds me; I have to go to his house for the match at 5 tomorrow evening!!! Toh kal aap log apni shaam aaram se, bina koi interruption ke bita sakte hai!" she told them grinning widely.
Muskaan and Rahul looked at each other. It was obvious to them that Ridzy had a crush on Armaan. They decided to tease her. Finally they had someone to tease her with!
"Woh sab chchod na Ridzy! Tu pehle mujhe yeh bataa ki tere sapnon mein jo Armaan aata hai woh yehi hai? Office wala Armaan?" asked Muskaan naughtily.
"Mere sapnon mein koi Armaan nahi aata, okay?" Riddhima replied blushing a little.
"Not fair Ridzy! Humse kyaa chupaana?"
"FINE! Wohi Armaan hai. Par main usse like nahi karti okay? Woh toh bas uss din aise hi....."
"Haan haan. Ab ye bataa- hot hai kya?" asked Muskaan.
"Brad Pitt aur Johnny Depp se bhi zyaada!" said Riddhima winking at her.
"Toh phir toh I'll have to se him! I mean hum dono ko pataa hai ki tu Brad Pitt aur Johnny Depp ki deewani hai!"
"I know right! Dekhlena usse! Tu dekhegi na toh tere sapnon mein bhi kal se wohi aayega!" she added laughing.
"Ayee!!! Muskaan ke sapnon mein aane ka license sirf mere paas hai! Koi zaroorat nahi hai Armaan ko dekhne ki!" said Rahul.
"Aww ..... tum jealous ho?" both the girls asked him in unison.
"Shut up. Tum dono ko aur kaam nahi hai kya? Chalo chup chaap khaana khao!" he said.
Laughing, they all started dinner.
Yeah well that was Part 8.... excuse my bad writing
Tell me what you guys thought of all the new characters... don't worry I'm not going to focus on them Oh well next part is obviously going to be their football non-date so expect loads and loads of moments
Okay I know it's kinda hard to believe Riddhima is good at so many things but umm I actually have a friend who knows all of the hobbies mentioned above [she's 25-ish] so she's kind of the inspiration for Riddhima and her list of talents Next part will definitely be after boards 'coz I don't want to make the part crappy
Comment and hit the "Like" tab if u think it's worth it! Criticism is welcome too!
Thanks ofr reading this FF, seriously. If you'll see the author's note in Part 1, I expected this FF to end in about 10 parts but you guys make me wanna continue
I'll stop talking now.
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