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Team Critics

Posted: 1 months ago
#1

Hello Everyone, this is Niki here.

Here's a work on our lead pair. Hope you all like it!


- Niki


Warnings: Trauma, Anxiety attacks, Dark Romance



Of Torments and Choices


“Choice, Abhira,” her mother softly murmured, “is the biggest luxury in the world. No matter what happens, always do your best to make your own choices. Don’t let others make it for you.” Her mother pursed her lips and looked at her with a strange glint in her eyes. “Even those you love! Even they should never be able to make your choices for you. Remember that!”

 

Those words rang in her mind as she opened her eyes. A deep sigh escaped her. Her mother was a wise woman. No one should ever be able to make choices for someone else. She should have listened to her mother. But she was a fool. And foolish that she was, she let her mother choose for her.

 

A choice, she had forever come to regret.

 

And yet, she could not blame her mother. How could she? In her dying breaths, she had just asked for one thing. How could she not give it to her? How could she not agree to the marriage? How could she refuse to marry him when he had already agreed?

 

Immediately a pair of bluish-green eyes flashes across her mind. Her spine straightened and something inside her gripped her tightly. Her ironed shirt felt scratchy all of a sudden, as an uncontrollable itch slithered across her spine.

Her body spasmed and she jerked forward, placing her palm on the glass table to balance herself. The receptionist looked at her with a furrow. Abhira gave her a little smile; her heart hammering loudly inside her.

“Umm washroom?” she asks barely keeping her voice straight.

“To the right, second corridor.”

“Thanks” Abhira gasps and strides out as fast as possible without running.

 

She turns the corner and sees the signboard in glowing neon letters. Pushing the door, she dashes inside, closing it behind her and leaning against the frame.


Her breaths are short and heavy, her hands suddenly becoming clammy with sweat. With a gulp, she rushes to the washbasin and splashes her face with cold water. Bile rose in her mouth and she coughed; dry-heaving into the basin. Her heart raced and her breaths came in short, sharp rasps as she looked up at the mirror. A wet face stared back at her, pale and shallow. Deep shadows lurked under her eyes. Her skin had an unhealthy pallor to it and she looked almost sick.

Because that was what she was.

She was sick!

Sick, and tired of everything around her.

Sick, of the nightmares haunting her nights.

Sick, of his voice which seemed to never leave her alone.

Sick of those vile hurtful words everyone had seen fit to hurl at her.

And lastly sick of his touch, those imprints that her skin refused to forget.


Her hands grasped at the basin for support as she tried to balance her sagging body and force her rooted feet towards the door. Her hands trembled at the effort and her head felt woozy. The bathroom floor suddenly tilted and she felt like vomiting again.

A tangy taste burnt through her and she dry heaved again.

 

100, 99, 98, 97….

Calm Abhira, she counted to regulate her breath. Now is not the time. You cannot let those things affect your present.

 

The sound of a flush broke her peace. Immediately she rushed to wipe her face with tissues as a woman came out from a cubicle. Hurriedly she began to apply her makeup, carefully concealing her shadows.

Her hands trembled as she tied her hair, carefully giving off the look of a corporate worker. She straightened the creases of her suit and tugged her formal pants to smoothen it up.

Abhira took a deep breath and raised her eyes to the mirror.

She looked poised, formal and confident.

Not a hair out of place.

Perfect!

 



The line of interviewees had considerably thinned. Not that she had to worry much, she was the last one on the list. The wait was a long one; from 10 AM to almost four in the evening. She managed to swallow a cup of noodles in the canteen but could not eat anything else. Her stomach twitched in nervousness and her increasing paranoia did not help.

 

“Abhira Sharma” the receptionist called at last; the lobby entirely empty except for the two of them.


Abhira gave a polite smile to the receptionist and walked towards the room. She quickly arranged her certificates and knocked at the door, before opening it slowly. Her heart was hammering loudly. She had to clear the interview and get the job. That was the only way she could settle her tattered life. Far away from them, she could live freely; without having to face the people who lived to make her suffer.

 

Far from them, nearly two states away; he would never be able to find her. She won’t see him. And with time, she will forget.


With time, she will heal!

 

With a deep breath, she entered the room, closing the door behind her. As she looked up, she felt the confusion rise in her. Instead of the panel that she was supposed to meet, an empty room greeted her. She looked around and turned back to the door when a voice stopped her short.

 

“Running again, are we?”

 

The familiar drawl met her ears. Immediately her insides twisted to a knot, her heart steadying up its pace. 


He was here!


How?


Swallowing deeply, she turned towards him.

 

Her eyes fell on his black shoes and slowly traced the tall figure decked in tailored brown pants and a pristine white shirt left unbuttoned upto the middle of his chest. Her eyes trailed past the unbuttoned collar to his roughened features; high cheekbones highlighting his strong jaw and dark brows framing his beautiful green eyes.

 

Her hands trembled and she gripped her file tightly. Gritting her teeth, she tried to regain some composure. She could not afford to lose her countenance here, especially now that too in front of him.

 

"Mr Armaan Podder, how nice to see you here!" she spoke coolly while her heart hammered at a tremendous pace.

 

Armaan Podder stared at the woman in front of him. She kept taking off her gaze from him to stare around the room. He wondered if she realised how far from the confident, posh lawyer he looked right now. But of course, she didn’t. 


Because she did not care. 


She never did.  

 

He gave her a dark smile and watched her shoulders stiffening uncomfortably.

 

"My word, I am flattered that you find my company 'nice'. I mean with all the techniques you had devised to avoid me; I must admit your response is quite unexpected. Then again, you always were a tremendous actress, weren't you Abhira Sharma or shall I say, Mrs Abhira Podder?"


Her heart felt heavy. She took a deep breath and rolled her eyes at him. 


His scowl darkened.


“Did I marry Rohit now? Or was there any other Podder I married in this past year? Because you and I are divorced, in case you need a reminder.”

 

The words were barely out of her mouth when a hand snaked up her wrist and her certificates went flying as she was pulled towards him. She lurched forward and splayed her hand on his chest to regain her balance.


“What the hell…”


“Do not ever dare to connect your name to anyone else,” he bit out gritting his teeth. “I am not in the mood for your games.”


“Games,” she murmured and raised her eyes to meet his. “Is it me who plays games Armaan?”


Her eyes shone with unshed tears but his were colder than ice.

 

Her heart lurched as pain sheared through for reasons she had yet to comprehend. No matter how much he insulted her and humiliated her, she could not find it in herself to fight against it. She could neither defend herself nor could she hurt him like he hurt her. There was something inside her that rose to curb any kind of hatred that had the potential to grow in her heart against him; instead filling in her a deep sense of longing for her torturer to envelop her in his arms.

 

It was a state of utter helplessness that she found herself in, unable to break out from her binds and yet in a continuous need for her tormentor to be around her. A self-inflicted torment, she could not find a way to free herself from the dark shadows that choked her spirit and haunted her dreams.

 

"So," Armaan cocked his head, even as he held her tightly, his hand gripping her waist; stopping her from moving away, "why are you here, Abhira?"


Slowly he stepped forward backing her until she slammed into the wall, his palm cupping her head to cushion the impact. He was close now, too close; the cool surface behind her augmenting her heightened sense of awareness.


"I-I am h-here for an interview," she stammered, her eyes flitting from one side to the other trying hard not to focus on the man who stood a hairline's breadth away from her. A chuckle left him and she felt him inching closer. She felt his lips reach her ears as hot breath breached them and a shiver wracked through her frame.

 

"Interview?" he breathed out gently. "Or is it another master plan to hoodwink your husband and run far away?”

 

A spurt of anger erupted in her.

 

“You are not my husband."

 

He tugged her towards him, his nose buried in the crook of her neck. “Really, now?”

 

She closed her eyes. She was tired, so tired of everything. She had never asked for all this to happen to her.

 

Their marriage had not been a normal one. It was a sudden reaction to a tragedy; one that was forced on both of them. That she had begun to nurture feelings for him was by mere chance. Or else both would have been doomed to a forever failure. Obviously, when the family found out, their reaction had been volatile; the wounds of which she carried even today. She remembered everything they had hurled at her; all of their gazes and their vitriol. She had faced it and made a better choice, especially when Armaan wanted the marriage to end too. There was nothing for her to regret. He had no ground to speak of it.


Armaan and she had begun as partners and when they separated, they were worse than strangers. He had cared once and they had shared dreams. They had laughed and healed. But then Charu’s relationship brought such an upheaval that their fragile bond could never recover. That day he had changed. It was as if he had forgotten that they were friends once. Something had twisted in him; something that was human, altering him to such an extent that she could no longer recognize him as her Armaan.

 

He would hurt her dignity; and her self-confidence and she would fight back, with everything; but she was only human. She could not hurt him the way he poked at her wounds and by the time she was away from him; she could only lock herself in the bathroom, reduced to a sobbing wreck every time he was through with her. He did not care about the burden she bore, the pain she went through, the scars that had begun to shine through her eyes. All he cared about was his pain.

 

"Is keeping silent your new tactic? This won’t work. You know I don’t like you quiet.”

 

She took in a deep breath and opened her eyes staring straight at him. "Let me go."

 

There was a certain sense of challenge at those words and he understood them quite well. Armaan surveyed her, letting his eyes drift over her dark lashes shadowing the familiar dark eyes he knew by heart. Her pale countenance contrasted with the bright red of her lush lips. Her supple chest dipped into the tantalizing curve of her waist and his thoughts immediately reminded him of the dreams that had haunted him in the past year. His head throbbed as their proximity brought to him the hypnotic whiff of her scent; the combination of roses and chocolate, that made him feel heady and tempted him to close his eyes and just let go. He missed it. Her unique scent had managed to ingrain itself in every aspect of his life to the point that he had begun to search for perfumes with that specific combination and changed his washing gel to the one she had used.  

 

She looked healthy; happy, confident; While he was barely holding on.


That was not right.


How could she move on so easily when he could barely move out of his room?


How could she still smell so good?

 

His hand moved without his own volition as his finger gently traced her face. She let out a startled breath and her eyes clouded; dazed. He loved her eyes. They were so expressive. They could never hide anything from him. He could see it; read the way his touch affected her. 


He had known about it. 


He had always known. 


But the time was not right to draw it out of her.


Instead, he had kept up, allowing her to get used to it; dependent on it like he was on her.

 

He wondered if every husband felt that way. If every husband nurtured that volcanic urge inside them to stamp themselves on their spouse the way he thought of with Abhira—a deeply embedded thirst inside him to own her that no piece of legal binding could quench.


And with his desire came a vigorous sense of self-loathing and anger. He closed his eyes as the wave of disgust rolled through him at his weakness in front of her. His weakness at succumbing to her, again and again. She left him. She wanted nothing to do with him. The marriage was a deal at first but they could have talked and settled it; made it real for her because it was real for him.


She was his.


Akshara Ma'am gave her to him.


But she left him.


She listened to his grandmother; the very one she had always opposed.


And she left him.

 

He turned to look at the prisoner held between him and the wall.


"Why should I let you go? So that you can weave another web?" he cocked his head at her. “So that you can run again? For someone who wanted to fight for the poor, you sure ran away from the courts as fast as you could. Or maybe, you were running from your dear husband? Is that it?”

 

She pushed against him, her eyes filling up with angry tears.


“You are not my husband,” she announced hollowly.


“I am,” he rasped out pinning her hands against the wall. “I am, and no one else. Understood?”

 

Her breath hitched and he felt her soft supple formtremble. He watched as her beautiful eyes grew wet with unshed tears as they met his and her lips trembled. The primitive madness in him rose again and he pressed closer to her, his hard frame completely enveloping her softness. She let out a whimper at the sudden action and bit her lip as she stared at him with sudden panic.  

 

"W-What are you d-doing? Let me go!"

 

She tried to wrench herself out of the prison of his arms but failed. Her heart thumped erratically and her head felt dizzy at his closeness as the unknown feeling of want spread in her again. She blinked back her tears as she felt like an invalid against the reaction of her own body and heart.

 

She felt weak, vulnerable and tired.

 

"What do you want?"

 

He leaned forward invading her senses. "Good, that you finally come to the matter. I want a simple thing Mrs Abhira Armaan Podder; do not avoid me again." He pressed her to the wall, the cold digging into her back. "Don't you dare run away again! No matter where you go, I will find you. Understood?"

 

She remained silent feeling the shadowy cuffs locking her into the dark pit again. A sense of resignation and frustration weighed on her. And yet it was shadowed by a triumph that spoke from her heart that he didn't want her to leave. His harsh breath was the only warning she got when he grabbed her jaw and lifted it for her eyes to meet his. His touch burned her and something in her stomach coiled.

 

"Understood?" he asked softly, a sinister facade layering his tone.

 

She nodded. His eyes darkened and his fingers gently touched her cheek. She froze and a trembling rose in her.


What was he doing?


He had never done this before.


Armaan inched closer and she felt the danger enveloping her, the blazing longing dulling her senses; clouding her instincts. His hand felt hot against her clammy skin. His hot breath met her lips. He was close now and she could see his dark lashes distinctly. Something glinted in his eyes.

 

She had to move, she had to get away before things went south. She had to go away and she lunged at him, desperate to free herself. However, before she could do any damage, he caught her hands in an iron grip again and pinned them against the wall. She stared at him in apparent panic and the next second he angled his head down and his lips captured hers.

 

It was a sudden paralysis that hit her as his lips attacked her with sensuality and confidence that made her incapable of any thought. Her hands loosened and as if realizing her incapability of struggling, he released her wrists, instead choosing to grip her waist with one hand gently kneading the luxurious curve and entangling the other in her dark mane bringing her closer to claim more of her. Her inexperience stopped her at first but then she began to follow; wherever he led. Her hands mindlessly moved to his shoulders and tightly grasped them as she wrapped herself around him, giving him access to every bit of her as he tasted every inch of her mouth, leaving her burning and wanting for more. Her breasts tingled and his arms tightened into a cage she never wanted to escape.


A heated moan left her and all of a sudden, the haze broke. At once he dragged his lips away from her and stepped back. Breathing heavily, he watched her taking in shuddered breaths, her hair dishevelled and her frame trembling as she stood pale and shocked at the events.

 

She raised her eyes to meet his and at once he reared back at the emotions, he saw broiling in them. It was as if she was looking back at him with all the love in the world in her eyes. He felt something take hold of him and it battered against his ravaged soul. He gritted his teeth to control himself and took in a deep breath.

 

"You have been selected in Podder firm. Your appointment letter will be mailed to you today. You will be working directly under me,” his eyes flashed. “Meanwhile you will not run again and you will not apply for other interviews. Got it?"

 

She stayed mum, her heart beating furiously.


How many times could the same person break her heart?

 

All her fight left her and she slowly crumpled into a heap on the floor. He looked at her and then turned around, stalking out of the room; leaving her behind.


A glistening tear slipped down her right cheek.

 

Her heart raced and she felt tired, inexplicably tired. Her head felt dull, and heavy; her body a trembling wreck. But what affected her most was the tiredness of her soul which felt claustrophobic and suffocating.

 

A tear slipped down her cheek and a prayer left her lips.

 

Please let it all be over. Please!

 

Edited by mistofshadows - 1 months ago

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8Lucky88 thumbnail
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Posted: 1 months ago
#2

Outstanding 

That was amazing 

A different sight of abhimaan 

Please do write more 

Nocturnal7 thumbnail
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Posted: 1 months ago
#3

Hey

Please take no offence of my comment, I mean no disrespect at all. Would you mind adding a trigger warning for panic attacks, sexual assault and dark romance in the beginning of the OS. These themes can be triggering for a few readers. I for example didn't expect it to take the turn that it did and from personal preference and knowing well enough what triggers me, if I had a knowledge I wouldn't have read further. Please know I have nothing against incorporation of such themes or creative liberty to touch upon disturbing themes. But it would be nice if you could add the trigger warning, given these are sensitive areas.Thank you.

Edited by Nocturnal7 - 1 months ago
mistofshadows thumbnail
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Team Critics

Posted: 1 months ago
#4

Originally posted by: Nocturnal7

Hey

Please take no offence of my comment, I mean no disrespect at all. Would you mind adding a trigger warning for panic attacks, sexual assault and dark romance in the beginning of the OS. These themes can be triggering for a few readers. I for example didn't expect it to take the turn that it did and from personal preference and knowing well enough what triggers me, if I had a knowledge I wouldn't have read further. Please know I have nothing against incorporation of such themes or creative liberty to touch upon disturbing themes. But it would be nice if you could add the trigger warning, given these are sensitive areas.Thank you.


Set a warning and turned it into a Matured post.

Thanks for the advice!

Sorry if it disturbed you.

 I will keep in mind next time.

Posted: 1 months ago
#5

So damn hot....

So Tristan Caine and Mr. Villanova coded....can we have a little continuation please.❤️

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Posted: 1 months ago
#6

smiley19 Abhira


do write more, please tag me

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Posted: 1 months ago
#7

Nice 

alekhika20 thumbnail
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Posted: 1 months ago
#8

Amazing 

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Posted: 1 months ago
#9

Loved it. smiley42

Please write moresmiley27

Posted: 1 months ago
#10

Loved it, please write a part two if possible on Armaans POV!