Part 26: Much Awaited
And then she felt what was actually causing that reaction. She could feel Armaan's eyes on her face. That made her blush even more. Just the thought of him wanting to kiss her was dizzying. She gathered all her courage and turned slightly to look at Armaan and BAM! She was right. He was looking at her. His expression warm, his smile faint...the desire in his eyes...ablaze!
Riddhima looked away and closed her eyes, trying to control her breathing. Armaan was embarrassed at being caught in that state and he awkwardly cleared his throat.
Angad and Kripa thought that was a hint at them to stop and so they did. Armaan and Riddhima walked over feeling more awkward. After a short chat, the two couples parted ways and drove to their respective destinations.
On the drive home, Riddhima was still thinking about the burning desire she'd seen in Armaan's eyes. The obviousness of his expressions, and body language that shouted that he wanted to kiss her. Even more surprising was the fact that she wouldn't have minded if he had. Hell. She wished he had.
She stole yet another glance at him through the corner of her eyes. She saw him squirm in his seat a little and in that moment she knew that he'd been stealing looks at her as well. She looked out the window and absent mindedly played with her necklace.
She was restless. There was a brand new case of butterflies in her stomach. The car screeched to a stop at a red light. She turned to look at him in the same instant he turned to look at her. Both waited for the other to say something but neither one did. The silence became even more awkward. Riddhima turned her face as if she was looking out the window but in reality, she had her eyes shut tight as she tried to control the waves of emotions.
Armaan cleared his throat and Riddhima's eyes flew open. He reached for the button for the CD player in an attempt to ease the awkwardness. But of course...with his luck...
Oh Zara Zara Touch Me Touch me Touch Me,
O Zara Zara Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.
O Zara Zara Hold Me Hold Me Hold Me
O Zara Zara Ooo Ooo
Armaan stared at the CD player, his expression mortified. Riddhima's spine stiffened in her seat, her fingers stopped their battle with the necklace, and her eyes shut tight again. Armaan coughed once before reaching to change the song.
(I'm going to get a little bit cheesy and clich here but it's cute! Hehe)
Bheege Hont Tere, Pyaasa Dil Mera
Lage Ambr Sa Mujhe Tan Tera
Armaan covered his face with one of his palms. Riddhima's mouth fell open this time. What the hell was happening tonight? Armaan reached for the buttons again, without removing the palm from his face.
kiss me baby, Kiss Me Baby
hoth tere mai ka pyala
kiss me baby, Kiss me baby
tu hain mera garam masala
Riddhima turned around suddenly to look at him. Her eyes wide with shock, her jaw dropped. Armaan looked between her and the CD player wide eyed before finally turning to the CD player.
He fumbled with the buttons. It took him a few attempts to turn off the CD player.
He looked sheepishly at Riddhima who turned around and looked out the window again. Armaan face-palmed himself again and turned towards his own window. He looked skyward and mouthed "why?" with the perfect hand gesture.
Another car from behind him honked. Armaan looked at the signal and fumbled for a second before driving again. A couple minutes later when he parked in their driveway, neither moved for a few seconds. Armaan turned his head minimally'just enough to be able to look at her.
Another few seconds later, she finally turned to look at him, she held his gaze for two seconds before turning and running out of the car and into the house. Armaan sat there, surprised. Was that a smile and a hint of blush on her face?
And then his eyes fell on the CD player. He glared at it and pulled his hand back as if he was going to punch it. Instead of punching it, he pointed a finger at it.
"This is War!" he said to the CD player, narrowing his eyes at it for a little more dramatic effect.
Armaan walked out of the car and followed her in. He could hear her upstairs in their bedroom. He headed there too, making it a point to act normal. But obviously that point jumped out the window the second he saw her. She had taken her heels off and she was holding her bathrobe in her hand.
"uhh...I'll just go and shower" and with that she skipped into the shower. She leaned against the door and hugged the bunched up bathrobe to her chest, trying to calm her breathing and heartbeat.
When she stood under the warm running water of the shower, she thought back on all the joyous moments she'd shared with Armaan till date. She also remembered her conversation with Kripa from the Hen's party night. Kripa was right. The more Riddhima tried to adjust into Armaan's lifestyle, the more she found out what it was to really get out there in the world and live. Riddhima was no longer a tank fish...although, she wasn't an ocean fish yet either...she was a...pond fish?
She smiled to herself when she remembered the incidence in the car and the awkward bit in the parking lot...thanks to Angad and Kripa.
She stepped out of the shower in her bathrobe and stood at the sink to grab her toothbrush when Armaan frantically banged on the door. Riddhima jumped at the sudden sound.
"RIDDHIMA...I NEED TO USE THE WASHROOM...HURRY UP."
"Use the washroom downstairs!" Riddhima stated back, confused.
"you don't get it!! I can't move much! Get out now or else I'm going to'"
Before he got a chance to finish, Riddhima opened the door and ran out, still in her bathrobe her pajamas in her hands. Armaan ran in and kicked the door shut behind him. Riddhima looked at the door with her eyebrows raised for a second and then a giggle escaped her lips.
The few giggled turned into uncontrollable laughter. She laughed to herself at his state and she was still laughing when he stepped out.
He stared at her for a bit as she continued to try to control her laughter. He crossed his arms and leaned across the edge of the wall. And then her eyes fell on him. She stopped laughing and in a haste to get out of there, she moved to quickly and ended up flinging the end of her pajamas shirt into her eyes.
"ouch!" she winced, instinctively covering her eye.
Armaan walked to her and stopped her hand from rubbing her eye any further. With his other hand, he peeled open the eyelid and gently blew air over her eye, soothing it. He repeated the same a couple of times.
It wasn't until he stopped that he realized how close the two were. He was standing and bent over to reach her level, she sat there on the bed looking up at him. His hand moved away from her eye and cupped her face instead.
His other hand still held onto one of hers. The pajamas were abandoned by her as her own hand reached up and covered his hand on her face. She closed her eyes as a shiver ran up her spine when she pressed his hand closer against her cheek.
She opened her eyes slowly and registered the change in Armaan's expression. There was a hint of surprise on his face the second he looked into her eyes. She knew what he saw in them. He'd seen the same glint of desire she'd seen in his eyes earlier. His eyes were questioning.
In an answer to the unasked question, Riddhima smiled gently. Armaan very cautiously moved closer just a teeny tiny bit. Her cheeks were starting to take on a pink-ish hue. He paused to get a hint of her exact reaction to make sure that she understood what was happening and what he was about to do.
She gently freed her hand from his grip and rested it on his shoulder instead. She was going to need the support. She knew it. She swallowed a little bit of her fear and anxiety and moved closer, her hands trembling slightly. Armaan used his recently freed hand to cup her face. He held her face in his hands like a delicate flower that would get crushed if he held it too tight.
He moved dangerously closer and she closed her eyes in anticipation. He gently touched the tip of his nose to hers, signalling to her how close he actually was and to see if she would recoil or freak out. Instead, he felt her hand on his shoulder tighten its grip.
Taking the flashing green signal from her, he very gently touched his lips to hers for a brief moment and then moved back just a bit.
Riddhima shut her eyes tighter and waited for the electric current stop running up and down her spine, waited for the insane butterflies in her stomach to settle down, and waited for the sudden heat around her to cool down.
And then she felt his lips against hers again and everything that was starting to calm down went into frenzy again. And this time her heart joined in too. It was no longer beating fast...it was beating in the most unnatural rhythm. She could swear that she felt her heart stop for a second.
Armaan felt similar things. The more he tried to pull away, the more he was drawn closer. She wasn't stopping him and he didn't want to stop himself. Somehow, somewhere he found the strength to not kiss her for a third time. He didn't want to push her over the edge. He already didn't know what reaction to expect in a few seconds when she would open her eyes.
What was even more unexpected, though, was her reaction. Her hand was no longer on his shoulder, it was clutching onto the collar of his shirt. She pulled him closer by the collar and stretched herself forward until she felt his lips against hers.
And then everything happened fast. Before she knew it, she standing on the bed on her knees, at the same level as him, her arms completely wound around his shoulders, a handful of his hair in her hands. His arms tightly locked around her small waist.
Their lips moved in a harmonized choreography and both lost track of facts, proximity, and time. When her lungs ached for air, she pulled apart with a gasp, her arms still around his shoulder. Armaan controlled his own breathing and opened his eyes to look at her.
She was breathing hard, her face red'especially the cheeks'her eyes were still closed. He waited patiently for her to gather herself.
After a minute or so, she finally opened her eyes but didn't look at him right away. Then slowly, like a newlywed bride, she lifted her gaze to look at her husband. His face radiated happiness. She felt even more heat rushing to her cheeks. He smiled at her, for her. He was looking straight into her eyes and she knew that the only thing that was on his mind right now was her.
She couldn't control her smile and the sudden wave of shyness that washed over her. She looked away from him but this time, he found it cute because she wasn't turning away from him...she was shying away from him. She gently pushed him away and ran for the bathroom only to run back again to grab her pajamas. She shut the door behind her and leaned her back against it, still breathing like she'd finished running a marathon.
Outside, Armaan lifted his hand on front of him and pinched himself. When he was sure that he hadn't imagined that bit earlier, he walked towards the bathroom door and almost knocked but then turned around, scratching his head. He walked towards his side of the bed and collapsed there with his eyes closed, an idiotic grin on his face, as he replayed the kiss over and over in his mind.
He heard the door open but he didn't move. The last thing he needed now was awkwardness between them. He sensed her when she sat down on the bed and lay down. He heard the bed sheets and the blankets shuffle. He turned his head towards her and peeped through extremely narrowed eyes.
She had her back to him. He turned in the same direction as hers and stared at her back, wishing desperately to say something. Ask if she was upset, most importantly.
She could feel his stare burning a hole in the middle of her back. She slowly turned onto her back and stared up at the ceiling. She knew her cheeks were still red. She knew he could see that. She turned to her side again, her back to him and she reached for the lamp. She turned the lamp off and closed her eyes to shade off the rest of the light that came from Armaan's lamp.
A few seconds later, she felt him move closer and his arm snaked around her waist. She was ecstatic at the moment because of the kiss and how right it felt but she wasn't ready for anything more yet. She wanted to take things slow. She wanted to enjoy every experience thoroughly.
Knowing very well that she was awake, he put his hand on her shoulder and turned her towards him. She opened her eyes slowly and was surprised to see the expression on his face. It was calm and gathered, glint of joy in his eyes that also got reflected in the tiny smile on his lips. His lips. Where her lips had been a few minutes ago. The thought made her blush even more and she pried her eyes away from his face.
He moved closer and for a second she thought that there would be a repeat of the kiss but much to her surprise, he kissed her forehead gently, with affection and love. She looked at his face when he pulled away. He offered her a smile.
"Good night Riddhima."
And with that, he lay back on the bed again and closed his eyes. She looked at him for a long minute. Then thinking back on her bold move earlier and the joy that move had brought her, she decided to push herself just a little more and she made another move.
She moved closer to him and put her head on his shoulder and threw her arm over his stomach. Without saying anything, Armaan wrapped his arm around her waist and snuggled her closer so that she was more comfortable.
For the first time ever, the husband and wife went to sleep with a content smile on their face, and willingly in each other's arms.
And you must've thought that the twilight kiss was the slowest approach to a first kiss ever...heheh...well...that's my tripple treat...2 parts + Armaan-Riddhima kiss (and the ArHi entry would be the fourth treat if you would like to consider it one)
Well, I hope I'm forgiven for the delay after these treats! I'll try to make the next update sooner, I'm already working on the part!
Alrighty Guys, See you soon. leave you super-duper-fantastically-fantabulous comments!