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CHAPTER 21B: Last Chapter- Continued
He completed the last bit and walked behind her. "As I open you blindfold, count till three," he explained her. He untied the knot of the blindfold.
Her eyes opened, she gasped as she saw around, she was dumbfounded in positive way. With happiness, she looked at him, her eyes glimmering with love and pure love.
"Arjun," she smiled earnestly and ran to him, taking him in pouncing hug.
She was feeling so overwhelmed.
The room was filled with darkness, just the walls emanating light.
Her eyes still fixed on his gift. A huge setting on the walls. On one side, there were his pictures, that he took for her, holding his hairs, or doing cute things, formed in a form of SORRY, in a same big frame, illuminated with LED.
And the other wall, left her even more speechless, her eyes glimmered with mirth, their pictures, were settled in I LOVE YOU Riya shape. She was befuddled. "I am so over the moon," she squealed, as tears of happiness shed from her eyes.
He wiped her tears and said, "not tears," he kissed her temple. "So am I forgiven?" He asked lovingly.
"Should you be?" She teased him.
"I hope to be," he replied with a hopeful smile.
It melted her heart. "You were long back forgiven, but mister, no hurting me again," she glared at him.
"Never ever, soon to be Mrs Riya Arjun Suryakant Rawte," and he captured her lips for a kiss.
Oh they were hypocrites, telling Aliya, not to kiss Aman but here, they were insatiable.
They parted. "We should not," Riya uttered the words. "We should control our feelings, our desires, our kisses are becoming so addictive," she admitted.
"You are right, I will wait. Where we waited this much, a little more should not matter," he kissed her temple. "Besides that, we have to set example for our kiddos," he said cheekily.
"Right," she nodded, happily and both cuddled in each other's arm on his bed, starting on the I LOVE YOU illuminated wall, with their so ethereal pictures. They were reminiscing the old moments, laughing over them.
"Let me do your cleaning," Arjun said, caringly, looking at her bandage.
"I am fine," she huffed, rolling her eyes.
He kissed her eyes, "Don't tempt me to shut your mouth in my style," he winked at her, making her flush. "Now come here," He pulled her in his lap. "See here," he said gently.
"You are becoming so dominating," she pouted.
"When it comes..." he was interrupted by Riya, "your health, then yes I will dominate you," she mimicked him.
"Alright, so now you will copy me?" His jaw dropped.
"Yes, after all, now I am going to be Riya Arjun Suryakant Rawte," she winked at him. "Now enough of talk, do my bandage," she said with attitude, making him giggle. "You look good, so carefree," she kissed his forehead and took the medical aid kit from the drawer.
Armaaan took it from her and removed the bandage, "it is healing, but hope it does soon," his eyes turned sorrowful. "So sorry, I should have been able to protect you," he kissed her injury, making her gasp.
Cupping his face, she said looking in his remorseful eyes, "that is over, the nightmare is gone, now it is time to make our present and future, don't let it go waste with guilt. Yes, use the guilt as to avoid the mistakes in our coming life, but do not make this guilt an obstacle in our happiness," she kissed his forehead.
He simpered elated.
So lovingly, so tenderly, he did her bandage, while she bit her lip to hide the stinging pain.
"You can wince or hiss, so I can be more careful," he berated her, infuriated. And finished her bandage.
"Ouch. Aww. Ohh. Ahh. Ouch. Aye..." she said all the expressions of pain she could remember at the moment, with perfect pained expression.
"Drama queen," he chuckled and tickled her softly, making sure not to hurt her.
"Haha," she guffawed freely.
"My baby," he hugged her, close to his heart, where she placed a warm kiss.
Two days had gone by, Riya's project was about to complete in a day and two, her bandage was removed too, she was fit. After paperwork, with the presence of their confession, Arjun was freed from the charges, Ashok and Raima were sentenced to jail, along with an official hearing within a week, where Arjun would have to give his testimony against them.
The whole family was delighted.
Arjun and Riya was eagerly waiting for her parents, they still had not delved their dates of arrival, while Arjun was distraught about their reaction.
The room was engulfed with darkness except the enlightened walls, with their pictures, in form of I LOVE YOU.
Silence resided in the room, only the rhythm of their heartbeat resonated in the room.
"I know they love me, but they will be angry, and maybe upset too, what if they don't let us get married?" He was laying on the bed, with his head in her lap, as she sat with her back against the headrest. Her one hand ruffling his hairs, the other was entangled with hers.
"I know them, for them, our happiness matters the most and besides that, we did nothing wrong, in fact they will be proud of us, like Ma and papa," she assured him as he played with her fingers.
He halted, and looked up in her eyes, shining in the light of the LED emanating from their pictures. "Are you sure?" He asked unsure.
"Are you doubting me?" She said, arching her brow.
He let out a boisterous burst of laughter, she felt her heart jumping in joy, seeing him so carefree, letting bygones be bygones. And his cachinnation so infectious, caused a cackle from her throat too.
As the laughter subsided, he rose her hand to his lips and pecked it, "my life was so meaningless before you entered in it. Our squabbles, our challenges, our friendship, our cordial conversation, our love for photography and soon our love for each other. Those thousand of scribbles of your name, contained a dream about us, for our life together. Those were no just mere name, it was a life I have foreseen for us, if you allow me in your life, will you?" He asked, earnestly.
"You have got entry in my life long back, we will live each dream, of yours, of mine, our dreams," she tightened their hold. Waiting impatiently for him to propose her, but he had better idea seemed like.
"I am starting again my work in dad's company but before that, I have something important to ask from you?" He looked at her intensely.
"I am happy to hear it, and ask me whatever you want," she pulled his cheek, he glared at her rubbing his cheek, but loving all she performed on him, all she bestowed upon him.
"Do you want us to settle here or in London?" He asked, in casual tone.
She looked at him with bemused gaze, "few days ago, mom and I were having the same discussion," she informed him.
"What did you say then?" He took both her hands in his hold, close to his heart.
"That, I need to stay with you here, with Ma and Papa," she kissed his forehead. "I am like a common girl Arjun. A dream for good, loving, understanding, caring and respecting husband, kind parents-in-law. I don't care if we are here or in London, I just need you beside me. Just take me to meet my parents whenever I say," she said seriously.
He was amazed. "When you say, princess," he kissed her cheek.
"Once every month," she said cheekily.
Hearing her, he laughed heartily. "whenever you say, as I already said, I will not even mind shifting there if ever you decide."
"Acha ji, mister, don't be over-flattering, husbands change after marriage, I know it," she said with a twitch.
At her expressions, he guffawed infectiously, that she too couldn't help but smile, "You are here, to take me back on the right track. And I don't even take it to my ego, to be scolded by you, you are an exception, after my parents," he replied looking in her eyes.
"Good boy," she pulled his cheek, while he pouted.
Laughter roared in the room, tensions were over, and happy times were here.
Friday morning, a very bright and shining day was vain in the eyes of this young couple, so in love.
"I am going to miss you," he caressed her cheek, both sat in the car. She was going away, for a whole week, away from him. He didn't know how would he stay away from her for so long.
She had become an important part for him. "You are coming there soon too, won't you, Aman?" She asked friskily as she hugged him.
"Yes Aliya, but It has become a habit to see you at least every second day and I can't wait to have you with me for 24*7," he kissed her forehead.
"Me too," she blushed. "These three years would end soon too, and we will get married," she tilted her head and looked at him, so lovingly, that melted his heart, anything he could for her, gazing in her eyes, he knew it so surely.
"Take care of yourself, WhatsApp and call me everyday, whenever you want, and if it is emergency, even when I am my part time job." He cupped her face tenderly. "I will miss you," he engulfed her once more in his arms.
"I will miss you too," she came out of the hug. "You too take care baby," she simpered at him. "Now let me go and don't make me wait for you. Life is incomplete without you." she kissed his cheek. "bye."
Her eyes moistened. He wiped the tear that leaked, "Don't, or I would not be able to let you go."
She sniffled and said, "I know I said, we will wait for our marriage, but I guess, since we are engaged we can kiss at such occasions," she bit her lips, making him laugh.
"Aww, my baby wants to kiss me," he teased her.
"Stupid," she whacked on his arm, he laughed but at the same time, grasped her carefully from her nape.
"And you have every right to," and he took her in a seering kiss. Something they needed badly.
"Hmm," she groaned, and he ruffled her hairs. "Aman," she mumbled through the kiss.
After a nice, passionate kiss, they moved apart. She was blushing deeply. "Now go, or I will not let you go," he said dismayed.
"Don't be agonized, smile, ear to ear, because that is what will keep me going," she kissed his cheek, "Bye..." and she stepped out of the car, while he followed her, they walked to her parents, who had given them some privacy.
And soon they boarded the plane, to give a warm surprise to their daughter, planned by both of their parents.
Friday night, the Gupta family minus Riya, who was already there, arrived in Rawte mansion.
Shree pressed the bell, excitedly, to meet his sister and Arjun, who had become a brother to him so effortlessly, soon to be brother-in-law. He was so elated with this development.
Aliya and Shree, likewise, their parents, always saw their chemistry, their tuning, their love, while they could not till real later. It is said right, from near you won't realize it, but the people far from it, would see all clearly.
"I am so happy, I am done with the shooting," Riya jumped on the bed. "I can't wait for mom dad, Aliya and Shree to come here." She was overjoyed. She loomed her arms around him.
"You look so good, being so cheerful," Arjun admired, as he pushed back the fringe behind her ear.
"Majority of my happiness evolves around you, never make me sad again," she warned him. Although she was sure he would no repeat the mistake again, but the pain she had gone through when he did all was just too heart wrenching, and she was afraid to go through it, ever again.
"Never ever." He promised her, kissing on her cheek. "Now come, have dinner," he lifted her in his arms by her legs; and deposited her feet on the floor.
She stared at him, feeling her heart so affectionate for him, hand in hand, both moved down.
Every happiness was on their feet, if they were together.
Just as they reached down, and were about to sit down, the shrill tone of the bell resonated in the house. Ashika was about to stand up, "Ma sit, I will open," Riya rushed to the door, like a bundle of joy. Arjun giggled admiring her enthusiastic form. She could elevate his moral at any time.
"OH MY GOD!" Arjun heard her shriek and got worried, he sprite into a wild run to her.
Whilst, his parents shared a knowing smile, happy to have arranged this surprise.
"Mom, dad," Riya squealed and hugged them, so delighted, her eyes filled with tears of mirth. "I am so so so very happy," she was overwhelmed.
Arjun's knocked out breath, regained its stability as the person came in his sight. "Aliya, Shree, Uncle, Aunty," he was delighted. He greeted the little ones so gleefully.
"Bhai, finally you confessed," Aliya said gayly.
"Had to," he winked at her and welcomed Riya's parents. "Namaste," he hugged them, as was their routine.
They were a family.
Arjun's parents took the cue and met Riya's family, they were enchanted by them. All spent a cordial time, and finally, all sat to talk, "we brought so many gifts for you," Shree said so sunnily.
"Yes, you are going to love it," Aliya added. Excited to show the gifts selected by them.
"You guys should have dinner and rest, although I am really curious but gifts can be distributed later," Riya patted her cheek.
"But, I was so looking forward to do this," Shree cuddled in her arms.
"Kiddoo," she pulled his cheek, who gave her an annoying look. "Let's at least have dinner, you look so tired," she said ruffling his hairs, he pouted at her mushy sibling love.
"Riya is saying right, the food is served, let's have dinner," Ravi seconded Riya.
Reluctantly, Shree and Aliya too joined them as Riya dragged them with her, making sit each of them at either side of her, Arjun was speechless, he was side kicked. With a grimace, he went to sit in front of her, she would have to pay for forgetting him.
He was up for any cheesy tactic.
Although, all being said, he loved seeing her talk so animatedly. All started to eat, he pretended to eat too, but in reality, there was mischievousness in his mind. He took out his feet from his slipper and slid it to her leg, which was not so far away. He rubbed her ankle with his toe.
She jumped electrified, coughing on her food, her eyes watered. "Di, what happened?" Aliya knead her back, to control her coughs.
"Riya, here," Arjun gave her a glass of water, he didn't anticipate for her to have such a severe cough.
She drunk the water gratefully, as she relaxed, she remembered what actually happened and she glared at him, furiously.
"Sorry," he uttered in her ear.
"I am fine," she blushed as she was still quivering from his touch.
All regained their places and this, she involved him in their talks too as she had got the message too by his kiddish act. She was bemused. He needed her all the time and wanted to be needed too. In her excitment, she overlooked him.
Too bad, she would never repeat it again, even for a second. Not that she ever forgot him, but she did got sidetracked for a moment.
After dinner, they gifts distributed, all were having a gala time, taking in the glory of the ecstatic time.
"You are sweethearts," Riya hugged her siblings, as she tinkled the locket that the adorable pies gave her. It was heart shaped locket, with Arjun and her photo together inside. And they had given a photo locket to Arjun too but of a book shape.
"Yes, this is a perfect gift," Arjun hugged Shree, and patted Aliya's cheek.
"If there is a perfect gift, than I wonder, what would be called ours?" Shashank said delighted, getting attention from ever present persons, although, all of them, except Arjun and Riya, knew about it, but the moment was special for everyone.
"Really papa, what are you gifting us?" Riya sat beside him, as Shashank engulfed in side hug.
"We, both of your parents, are gifting you your wedding, now it is upto you, if you want the gift within two week or after six months?" Ashika said, cheekily.
"Six months, no never, I can not wait that long," Arjun retorted, baffled.
And he became laughing stock for the family and Riya blushed beetroot, hiding herself in her father's arms
"So it is done, the marriage of the two will happen in two weeks," Ravi announced and all hooted.
"Althought we anticipated this, but now that the moment has arrived, I can't believe, my princess is getting married," Padma kissed her forehead. "I am happy your life partner is none other than Arjun. May your life be filled with happiness."
"Thank you ma," she kissed her cheek.
But before that, they had to tell them one important news, that they wanted to tell them since long. This could not wait more. Once again, as per their understanding, Arjun and Riya shared a look of worrisome.
Taking a deep breath, Arjun started, "We have to tell you something, something really important. We," Riya stood up and marched to him, her hand on his shoulder, giving him comfort, he held her hand, close to his chest.
"You are scaring us Arjun, Riya," Shashank expressed.
"Raviji, Ashika, I hope everything is fine," Padma put forward her worry.
"Everything is fine now," Ashika assured them. "Let these two tell you this information."
Shashank and Padma nodded, whilst the kids looked thrilled, although concerned.
Taking the cue, both of them, started to tell the reason, one by one, the Gupta's were dumbfounded, speechless.
"I can't believe you both hid from us," Shashank was furious.
"You should have told us," Padma agreed.
Both looked at her parents with guilt, head lowered.
"Papa, I know bhai and di would have told us, had we been here," Aliya defended them, even before anyone could talk.
"Yes, Ma, both of them love you so much, they didn't want to worry you, being so far," Shree said, as he looped his arm around Arjun's waist.
Padma went to Aliya and Shree, who were sitting beside their favorite siblings, and pulled their ears, "already siding up with them."
"Oww, ma, it pains," Aliya was the one, making more noise, for suffering the pain.
"I am really lucky to see so much love between all of you," Padma blessed them. "What do you say Shashank?" She looked at her husband.
"I must say, I felt hurt knowing this so suddenly, but as the kids pointed out, I can see why they did it and I am proud of them," Shashank smiled at them, with pride in his tone and eyes. "Welcome in the family Arjun. And you know, I don't need to give you any threat or advice like some parents do, because I see love and determination in your eyes. You are not the one to just love, but also to fulfill all the responsibilities, high and lows that came with it. And for the rest, I am confident of my daughter to handle you. She has done a remarkable job." Shashank said earnestly.
Arjun's eyes shone with happy tears, to be accepted. He never knew till a year back that this could be his ultimate happiness.
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Loads of luv<333