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"I refused, I don't feel anything for him," she replied, he released the breathe he was holding back. She smirked imagining his state.
What if she said Yes? he wondered. He had not confessed anything. "Riya, I... Please don't fall in love," he said quickly and the pout appeared on his face at his stupidity.
Riya grinned at his cuteness. "Arjun?" She asked surprised, to probe him further.
"Oh uh... huh... I meant don't fall in love yet, you have your career to establish," he made an excuse.
She bit her lip in amusement, she nodded her head as if believing him. "Oh yeah, You are right. I have no plan for all that," because I am already in love with you, she said the later part in her heart and shied.
He sighed, relieved for the moment but it was not going to be for too long, he would have to take an action soon.
"Do you want me to send you my snaps?"
"Is it even a question to ask?" He frowned. A good after the mini heart attack he had was more than welcome.
She laughed, she took her snap and sent him. Her fluttering in excitement, she always had butterflies, when she sent him her own pictures, dressed for him specially. She didn't take some much time to get dressed for the guests or event but for him, the appreciation she felt in his voice, in his words was something indescribable. It meant a lot to her, a lot more than she could ever express. His praises meant she was worth it, worth being here and nothing else mattered to her. She was waiting to be with him, soon.
She helped Aliya, she sent their picture to Arjun, and they went down. Aliya sat next to Aman, who admired her with happiness. He had eyes only for her.
"Don't you think Riya should be engaged first?" Aman's mother asked.
"No, we don't believe in that. If our younger has realized her love sooner than Riya, we all are happy to go ahead with it. As it is we are not worried about any of our children, we are sure they will get their happiness sooner or later," Shashank said proudly and he already knew, he didn't have to worry at all about Riya, he could see love in her eyes for Arjun, rather than worried he was assured.
Aman's father nodded, he didn't have any problem with the rest of the family, they could do what pleased them. What mattered to them was their son, Aman, loved Aliya. They refused to be shallow parents anymore. They have done that once and saw him going in shell, it was until he confessed to Aliya that he started being himself and they realized they wanted his happiness.
"Alright. We were thinking that their exams would be over within three weeks and we can arrange their engagement for a month, what is your take about it?" Aman's father said.
"Engagement next month then," said Shashank, happily.
The engagement date was fixed, Aman was delighted, he held Aliya's hand lovingly, looking at her with happiness visible in his eyes, Aliya blushed deeply, so much happy. Riya captured their picture and sent to Arjun, who was so happy for them.
"Riya," Devin called her name. He had adjusted to the reality over the last two weeks. She didn't belong to him and he stopped trying to flirt with her, he was simply cordial. She appreciated it much.
"I was wondering, you told me the one you love is from India right?" He asked her.
"See, I want to extend the internship for a month. I want you to go to India with my team. A designer brand want to launch their clothing in India and thus want to get their pictures shot in the marvelous sights of there, Taj Mahal, India Gate, temples every such place. Are you in?"
"Yes," she replied right away, her eyes shining, "but can I make my own arrangements?" She asked shyly.
"I am sure, you would be more interested to be with the one you love," He winked at her and she could only blush. "So you guys will be leaving in three weeks, prior a week to that, I want you all to get in touch with the company and arrange everything for the project, is that clear?" She nodded excitingly.
He left but still with a little sadness, he liked her but she belonged to someone else, he just wanted her happiness.
"INDIA," She squealed in happiness. She took her mobile, about to message him but stopped. 'I am going to surprise him," she thought mirthfully, so excited to be with Arjun, she would confess right away.
Her excitement was over the limit, she was more happy than her heart could hold, all the day she was jumping from one corner to another, her happiness was uncontrollable. She did her work with an unimaginable zest and boost. She was smiling and shining all the while and surely spread the light around too.
Arjun, her Arjun would be hers in about three weeks, oh, she could not longer control her fluttering hearts, her face was burning with all the blushing. She bit her lip coyly. The moment was going to be perfect when they would confess.
Two weeks later, time passed quickly specially with the preparation of the engagement, Riya's start with her packing and internship, her parents were really elated and proud of her.
Everyone was delighted, Arjun wanted to be there too but it was unlikable due to his commitments. He felt awful but he knew he would be there for the wedding, no matter wait and he was hopeful, as Aliya's jeeju that time.
Aliya was beyond happy, she was getting her Aman, he loved her like no other. She was his princess and respected her wishes. For him, her smile and happiness meant the most and when you found someone like that, never let them go.
"I am so excited," he professed holding her hands as they sat near a lac. She had sneaked out to meet him with Riya's help. She was pretty much sure everyone knew in her family but acted ignorant. She loved them too bits.
"Me too, our dream will come true, you will always love me right?" She looked at him with her doe like eyes.
"If you stay as crazy as now, I promise I will keep loving you," he assured her with a wink and hugged her. Although, we are having a proper ceremony in front of family but I wanted something of us in private." He said tucking her hair behind her ear.
"What is that?" She creased her brow.
"Don't put too much tension on them," he caressed her brows and she blushed. He got on his knees, held out his hands. "I know we love each other a lot but I never proposed you properly and I want to, so that our kids and future generations know about it," he winked at her. "I love you my crazy Aliya, will you marry me and make me the lucky man, who will love you, cherish you, care for you, respect you and be the father of you kids?"
She had happiness tears in her eyes. "Of course idiot,"
He chuckled at her antics and held her hand, his hand hand took out a slender bracelet, which had a shell in the middle, her eyes brimmed with tears. "I made it myself for you only," he placed the shell part on the back of her wrist and tied it tenderly.
"This is so beautiful," her tear rolled down.
He moved closer, "the only tear I can see in your eyes are of happiness, I love you" he smiled and kissed them good-bye, he moved near her lips, her breath fanning him, making him aroused, but he stopped, he could not break her trust and kissed her cheek instead, making her blush. She felt really lucky and just prayed to God always to be lucky and give her the power to keep him happy, be with him in good and bad phases.
"I love you too," she kissed on his cheek.
He smiled widely and helped her up, so he could take her back to her home and go to his own, for coming back at her place for the engagement ceremony.
"Arjun, this is so heavy," Riya commented as she got dressed. Her bluetooth plugged in her ear.
"Then change it," he advised her.
"But it is so beautiful," she pouted.
"You women are so confused souls," he teased her.
"And still you would not want me to change," she retorted proudly.
"True, true, send me your picture," he told her.
She sent him right away. She was dressed in yellow velvet with net embroidery and beaded anarkali dress. "How am I looking?" She asked him.
"You look ethereal, so damn beautiful, purity defined," he said serenely.
"Arjun," she blushed, anticipating the next week when she would be with him in his arms, in his life, and that too forever. It could take a lifetime to realize who your other half was but not for hers, she knew he was the one. The one who would love her beyond anything, love her more than his own self, protect her, care for her and trust her. He was the one who would think about her happiness over his, her security over his. He was the one.
"Did I say too much?" He felt apprehensive, he didn't want to let out too much. He was planning for his trip to UK soon, to confess his love, to get her. He could feel she had feelings for him and he would not stay back. Maybe a week at most and they would be together, provided she agreed.
He just had to complete his internship, he about a few days left. He would go right away to her, no stalling, no more work. She was his uttermost priority. Rather than going ahead with his money making idea, he would go to her and confess. Only then this would mean anything. He could not lose her.
Every second he was living on the edge, what if she announced she loved someone.
He shook his head, no. No. Hope for the best. He assured himself.
He had wanted to rush away to her as soon as he could, as soon as she told him about her teacher proposing her but he stopped, he had still not accomplished his dreams but he was at a better level now, he could not stall this for long. As it is he had already waited for too long, not more. Just four more days and he would be with her, confessing his love. He smiled ear to ear.
"No, you didn't. It was perfect," she replied with a smile.
He felt, he felt the feelings of hers for him and he was supporting his love on that, he was putting his confidence on the fact that she felt something for him and it was to be seen soon.
"Tell me, what is the happy news? you sound really thrilled?" He asked her, for the umpteenth time. He could sense her feelings in her voice.
"I am always happy when I talk to you," she dismissed him smartly as always.
He knew she didn't want to tell yet so he would give her time. He just hoped it was not a man's, love's matter. "Alright alright, now go join the event, tell me everything and send me snaps," he ordered her.
"Are you ordering me?" She frowned curiously.
"Sorry If I did sound so. It was a hearty request, please send me the snaps. I am not there but I want to be a part of it," he said with a smile. He loved the fast she said right away what she didn't like.
"I will," she felt touched and went down, her Bluetooth activated, so she could interact with him at the same time. Aliya looked at her teasingly and Shree was not an idiot too, all knew what was going on, but they let her.
She covered the engagement for him, sending him direct live pictures, he was ecstatic, his doll was getting engaged. He felt teary eyed, she was growing up too quickly. He knew her for short span of time but she had made a big place in his heart. Gupta family sure knew how to get inside his heart. He smiled thinking about Riya and waiting the day when he would get engaged to her and get married.
"Arjun, Ashok is here to meet you," Ashika informed him.
"Ashok," he mumbled, it had been about five months that they didn't have any sort of contact then how sudden.
"Talk to him Arjun," Riya assured him.
"Yes," he nodded and went down to talk to Ashok, who engulfed him in a hug quickly.
"I am sorry yaar, I didn't know what came over me, I was just hurt seeing you so changed but not anymore." He apologized.
"You realized it that is what matters," Arjun patted his shoulder and hugged him.
'Apologize my foot,' Ashok sniggered. 'You were my golden egg, always throwing parties and all but now that you stopped, I have found another way to extract money from you, this time a lot more bigger amount, to settle my life.' He thought inwardly, his brow raised evilly.
Arjun was unaware of the cunning planning so was Riya, they believed friends were genuine but sometimes they were plain chameleon.
They didn't know what was to come next and shake their perfect lives.
To be continued...
So here is chapter 12 complete. What is your take? What do you think Ashok has planned?
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