Azure here…….sorry the chapters are delayed as I am travelling.
Ria Khanna – Ragini
Shiv Kapoor – Sanskar
Lav Khanna – Laksh
Shikha Lav Khanna – Swara
Sharad Khanna – Shekhar
Jaya Khanna – Janki
Deepak Kapoor – DP
Aarti Kapoor – AP
Arun Kapoor – Adarsh
Preeti Kapoor – Parineeta
Ria had just finishing packing her laptop, in its case, after presenting to the Ahujas. Lav had been stuck in another meeting and hadn’t been able to join her. She guessed Arun Kapoor was in the same meeting, since Shiv too had turned up there, alone.
Shiv had been guarded during the entire meeting. Their customary handshake, which she would have loved to avoid, seemed to bring out the same reaction in him, as in her. She didn’t spare him a glance as she made to leave the room.
“Chashmish (spectacled) Know-it-all Khanna” Shiv said firmly, from where he sat. He hadn’t moved from his chair.
Ria stopped and turned to look at him.
“That is who you are, right?” Shiv said, getting up now and walking towards the edge of the table as he rested against it
Riling. That is what Shiv was doing. Trying to rile her by saying things that he knew weren’t pleasant. He had never used the tactic off the football field. Until now.
Ria raised her eyebrow, but choose not to respond. She wasn’t going to give him a reaction. She had made up her mind the second he had uttered those words.
“Changing your physical appearance cannot change who you are” he commented coldly
Ria smiled “Good, because I have no intention of changing. Only a shallow person like you can think that spectacles were all of my physical appearance” she said shake of her head, one that only conveyed feeling pity for him.
“Is that why you had to get rid of them with the superficial fix of contact lens?” he asked in a cold voice.
“Today, if I wear my specs, they will be an asset. They will only make me look even more intelligent. And I am proud that I know it all” Ria said confidently, with a quirk of her eyebrow “You on the other hand will always remain an arrogant unintelligent brat”
Shiv rose and walked toward her, towering her almost, in a matter of second. His eyes burning with anger “You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me. You are nobody to judge me” he told her
“And you are nobody to determine who I am either” Ria shot back at him, not willing to back off
“I have no intention of spending any time determining who or what you are” Shiv spat at her
“Is that why you were flirting with me at the party?” Ria asked with a smirk, titling her head in question
“Don’t worry, that is a mistake I have no intention of repeating” Shiv told her
“Good! Because it was annoying as hell” Ria told him, brushing past him
Shiv clenched his jaw “This isn’t over Khanna” he muttered, just as she closed the door behind her.
Great! She had succeed in riling him up instead! He muttered to himself as he sat in his car, a little later, driving back to the office.
“That pretty girl from party, the one who Sam was talking about, was ‘prefect from hell’ Khanna?” Arvind asked Shiv as they sat together at Rohan’s house, over the weekend
“What?” Sam asked confused. He didn’t study at the same school with them and had no clue what they were talking about
“You don’t know her” Arvind explained, his eyes still wide in shock
“Grow up Arvind!” Pooja told him. Pooja was their schoolmate and Arvind’s girlfriend.
“You are telling me to grow up over ‘prefect from hell’ Khanna?” Arvind asked annoyed
“Yes!” Pooja told him calmly “I know her better than you”
“What do you mean you know her? You know ‘prefect from hell’?” he asked surprised by her comment “Is there anything else you have been hiding from me?”
Pooja rolled her eyes “Stop being such a drama queen. She is a really nice person. And stop calling her that!”
“Are we talking about the same person?” Shiv asked
“She isn’t as bad as you are making her out to be” Nisha, their other schoolmate, added
“Not you too!” Shiv said feeling annoyed
“Did you forget what happened?” Arvind asked
“What happened?” Sam asked feeling left out
“I remember what happened.” Nisha said glaring at Arvind “They both said some really bad things”
“Are you my friend or hers?” Shiv asked feeling a bit angry
“Do you want us to lie because we are friends?” Nisha asked him
“Shiv, both of you were too young. Both of you were angry. And both of you said some horrible things. I am not trying to side with her over you, but you did say some really nasty things to her, in front of the whole school” Pooja told him calmly, patting his shoulder
“She deserved all of it” Arvind countered, on behalf of Shiv.
“No, she didn’t” Pooja told him softly
“And Shiv did” he shot back
“Neither of them did” Nisha cut in
“Will someone tell me what this is about?” Sam cut him loudly
Everyone looked at him, and shook their head “What?” he asked annoyed
“Nothing!” Shiv said finally “Can we talk about something else? I really don’t want to spoil my weekend talking about her!” he said feeling angry
“I am with you buddy” Arvind joined in “I don’t know what has gotten into these girls”
“I would be careful about what you speak, dear” Pooja said patting his arm and walking away to get a coke.
Shiv burst out laughing and the others followed.
“Shiv! I am supporting you here and you laugh at me! This is what I get for supporting you!” Arvind muttered annoyed
“I am sorry buddy” Shiv said raising his hands in mock surrender, trying to convey to Arvind that he meant no harm.
“I cannot believe he called you by that term” Ananya told Ria as they sat in a café, enjoying a cup of cappuccino.
“I wasn’t really surprised. I was expecting it” Ria told her calmly as she sipped her coffee.
“I thought he would have grown up by now” Ananya admitted honestly
“Apparently not” Ria replied back with a smile, as she saw Ananya trying to reconcile the information “Why are you so bothered?”
“I am not” Ananya told her. But Ria only rolled her eyes “Fine!” Ananya admitted “It is just that when I saw the two of you together at the party, I just saw some possibility, you know”
“What kind of possibility?” Ria asked amused “That of my killing him?”
Ananya rolled her eyes “Very funny! Of the two of you being a couple” Ria burst out laughing hearing that “What! He isn’t bad when it comes to looks”
“No, only when it comes to his personality” Ria quipped, still laughing
Ananya shook her head, smiling back “There is something about bad boys” she said winking
“Oh god Anu! Not you too! I don’t want to lose any more best friends to him” Ria said shaking her head
“There is no chance of losing me. I already have a crazy nut, to deal with” Ananya told her primly “Of course! I cannot comment about your other best friend, Rahul” she added with a bright smile
Ria giggled “If Rahul hears this he is going to kill you. He is already a bit touchy about the whole lanky thing, thanks to Avni, and now this!”
“Have you still not forgotten what happened?” Ananya asked her, getting a bit serious “It has been a long time”
“9 years” Ria said softly “But there are some things which aren’t easy to forget”
“Why are you still letting anything he said matter? You were never even friends” Ananya asked
“You know it wasn’t about him. He was never important, for me, for it to be about him. It was about me” Ria told her. Ananya nodded. She knew. “Besides, it isn’t as though I am stuck in the past. I moved on long back. Not forgetting it completely and still being stuck in that place are two different things.”
“So you aren’t doing all this to get back at him?” Ananya asked her
“You know me better than that, Anu” Ria told her “I really want to prove that I can help with the business. I can handle it as well. I too can help Bhai. I don’t need to be sheltered away from all of it, left to enjoy the fruits of their labors” Ananya nodded. Ria smiled mischievously “Of course it is an added advantage that I get to beat him and rub it in his face”
“You are enjoying this way too much” Ananya chuckled
“May be” Ria said with chuckles of her own “It is nice to see him stew over the contract losses”
“He is not one to sit back” Ananya warned her
“I know. I know he is going to hit back. I am expecting it. I am prepared for it. But right now, I don’t want to waste any more of my weekend talking about him” Ria told her
“What do you want to talk about then? Rishabh?” Ananya teased
“Eww! Anu!” Ria exclaimed hitting her on the arm lightly.
“So what are you going to do?” Rohan asked Shiv
“About what?” Shiv asked. They had been busy enjoying the usual friendly fights between Arvind and Pooja.
“Ria” Rohan said, giving an expression that implied it was silly of Shiv to even think otherwise
“I am going to make her eat dust” Shiv told him firmly “Though it is nice to have a tough competitor once in a while. Keeps me on my toes.” he said looking at his friends “You are too much of wimps! I am not getting much practice!” he said with a teasing smile, making it clear that he said it only in jest
“Is that why you were flirting with her?” Sam asked amused “Trying to open the battle ground, to get in some practice?”
“Flirting!” Arvind exclaimed looking at Shiv with wide eyes, before turning to Sam “You didn’t mention this before”
“You don’t flirt with girls. They flirt with you.” Rohan added looking skeptically at Shiv
“Calm down! I wasn’t flirting!” Shiv said shrugging his shoulders
“That is not how I remember it. You were very much into her” Sam told him with an amused smile
Shiv scowled at him “Fine! Get off my back will you!” he told Sam annoyed
“You were interested in her! Oh my god! How have tables turned!” Nisha exclaimed with a bright smile
“I didn’t know who she was. Don’t worry I am not going to repeat that mistake again” Shiv shot at her
“We will see” Pooja told him with a giggle
Links to previous chapters