Apartment No : 107

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Chapter Twenty Three

We rode up the elevator in complete silence and my clothes were partially dry now but still sticking to my body. I was glad that he gave me his jacket because I was still freezing like hell. I peered at him from the corner of my eyes and noticed that he looked stressed and worried, his clothes were also wet and I wondered if he was cold too.

As if he read my mind, he put an arm around my shoulders, pulling me closer towards him and I instantly felt the warmth that I was craving for. I looked up to see his face but he showed no emotions and I couldn't make out anything from his eyes too.

What happened with his dad?

I wanted to ask but I decided not to poke the bear again and kept chewing on my lower lip, thinking about my near-death experience. I could have been raped or kidnapped and tortured or even killed. I should probably thank him.

"Thank you for finding me."

Silence.

"Well, it's funny because I'm the one who should be mad at you and giving you the silent treatment but--"

"What the fuck were you thinking, Ridhi?" He interrupted me, turning around to face me in one swift movement.

"Wh-- What do you mean?"

"Running off like that. Do you have any idea how scared I was? Fuck!" He cursed, looking at me from head to toe to make sure that I wasn't hurt anywhere. He was gripping my shoulders so tightly that I winced a little and he quickly loosened his grip, "Shit, I'm sorry. I'm just...so angry and I wanted to kill those guys." He spoke through gritted teeth, running his fingers through his damp hair and I could actually understand what he was feeling. I would feel the same way if he had been in any kind of danger.

"I know it was a dumb thing to do but I was hurt, Ray. You have no id--"

The elevator doors opened at that instant and I stopped talking immediately as we saw an elderly couple smiling at us. We both walked outside, giving them the space and he took my hand as we walked towards the apartment.

"I didn't mean what I said. I was just angry." He mumbled, rubbing my cold hands but I was still pissed at him and remained silent. He can't use that as an excuse to be mean to me. Once we reached the door, he stretched out his hand in front of me and I raised my eyebrows, giving him a puzzled look.

"Keys?"

"I don't have it."

"Uhh..my jacket," he pointed out and I removed it from my body immediately and threw it at him.

"Get it yourself."

"Your welcome by the way," he scoffed, sarcasm dripping in his tone and I rolled my eyes at him while he fetched the keys from his jacket and unlocked the door for us to enter. I dragged my ass inside finally letting out a huge breath. I noticed that his dad was nowhere in sight, the tea I prepared earlier remained untouched on the coffee table.

"I see that you have scared away your father for good," I stated, turning around to find him removing his shoes near the door.

No response.

"When were you going to tell me that you owned the place?" I asked, folding my arms in front of my chest and he finally looked up to meet my gaze but his eyes automatically fell to my chest which was now visible due to the transparent netted material that was sticking to my body.

Great!

"He told you, didn't he?"

I simply shrugged, waiting for a response from him and he let out a huge breath.

"I thought it didn't matter and I would have told you eventually when it came up,"

"Why would you need a roommate if you owned the place?" I asked, hoping that he would make me understand something about his life.

"Can we first talk about the stunt you pulled earlier, running off to nowhere?"

"No," I stated, stubbornly giving him no choice but to answer my question.

"Because I was going crazy all alone in this apartment and my nightmares were haunting me, Ridhi. That's why I needed a roommate because I thought it would help." He sighed and walked past me towards the kitchen.

Well, that actually made sense. He was feeling lonely and wanted someone to share the space with to fill the void that he was experiencing.

I followed him right behind and leaned against the kitchen counter, observing him as he was drinking water straight from the bottle.

"So are you super rich or something?" I asked, making him almost choke and he looked at me with wide eyes.

"What is this? Twenty questions?"

"Well, I just realized that I know nothing about your personal life."

"You met my dad so that's a start and yeah, I'm kinda rich but it's all my money and not my dad's." He muttered, keeping the bottle inside the refrigerator, "I would never accept a penny from that man."

"He was such a nice guy you know. I can't believe you treated him like shit and I don't care what went down between you two. He is still your father, Ray." I started to lash out and he was getting angry now. I could see the vein popping out on his neck and his face went red with rage.

"You have no fucking idea what he did."

"I don't care because I know what it is like to not have one," I yelled, shutting him up and he looked shocked beyond words at my outburst.

"I would trade anything.... anything in this world for even a single moment with my parents." With that, I broke down in front of him and he rushed to my sides immediately to hold me.

"P-parents? As in both.." he was afraid to even say it out loud and I just nodded against his chest.

"Fuck!" He hugged me so tight almost as if he was scared to let go of me and I sobbed against his chest, "I'm so sorry, baby. I didn't know. I swear I didn't know. "

"Of course you didn't know, Idiot. I never told you." I sniffled, pulling away from him a little and he away wiped the tears from my cheeks.

"Do you want to sit down?" He asked in almost a whisper and I nodded in agreement.



Once we were all settled on the couch, he pulled me closer and kissed my forehead, his lips lingering for a bit longer than usual.

"I know you hate your dad for some reason but it just killed me to see the way you spoke to him. Life is too short to have any regrets, Ray." I spoke through my tears and he just held me and made me rest my head against his chest.

We both stayed like that for a while until my sobs faded away and I broke the silence between us.

"I don't remember my mom that much because she passed away when I was very little. It has always been me, my dad, and my grandma." I started and he ran his fingers against my arms in a soothing manner as I continued.

"Last year, he passed away in a car accident. I don't want to go into details as it was so horrible for me to relive the whole thing. We were all so devasted and broken. I've been trying to get my life on track since then and coming over here felt like a sign to me." I paused, swallowed back the lump in my throat, and lick my lips before continuing, "I mean, I have mentioned before that my dad was an alumni of the university and it was his idea. He always wanted me to apply and so I did. I never really thought I would get it but when I got that scholarship, it felt like a sign from him."

"I'm glad because I wouldn't have met you otherwise and he would have been so proud of you, Ridhi." He whispered, kissing my head and I smiled a little.

"That's what my grandma used to say too."

"And it's true. You are so smart and so fucking gorgeous." He sighed, hugging me tighter and it felt so good to finally tell him about this. I felt so much better but suddenly realized that I was burdening him with my troubles when he already had enough on his plate.

"I'm sorry for yelling and ruining your mood. You were already stress--"

He interrupted me by placing his finger on my lips and I let out a soft gasp.

"You actually made me feel better and I'm so happy that you trust me enough to tell me." He whispered and I lifted myself from him.

"I know you have your own issues and stuff, Ray but I really want to be with you. Please don't.. please don't push me away," I choked, looking straight into his eyes but he remained silent.

"I'm sure I can handle anything. Your pain, your anger, your jealousy, and everything else. I just want to be there for you. You don't have to let me in immediately and I don't care if you are broke--"

Before I could say anything, he smashed his lips against mine, interrupting me yet again and taking me by surprise completely.

He cupped my cheeks with one hand while his other hand automatically went to my bare waist, pulling me onto his lap and I started to reciprocate the kiss once I came back from my shock state. He continued to kiss me like there was no tomorrow, so soft and tender like he wanted to cherish every singly moment of the kiss.

Even though I was cold and my clothes were wet, I could feel the heat rushing to my core, his lips igniting my whole body in its wake.

"You just love interrupting me, don't you?" I asked with a small chuckle when I pulled back from him a little.

"Fuck, you have no idea how badly I wanted to do this since morning." He groaned, squeezing my waist.

"And I missed you too." I smiled against his lips, running my fingers through his damp hair.

"As much as I want to keep you away from me, I don't think I have the strength to be away from you." He spoke, kissing my chin and I smiled, closing my eyes and enjoying the feel of his lips against my burning skin, "Fuck, please don't tell me I didn't warn you and I tried so hard but you are simply irresistible." He continued, kissing all the way from my chin to my collar bone, making me moan out loud.

Fuck, he was good with his lips.

"We will be okay, Ray," I replied, taking his face between my palms and kissed his forehead. I noticed some kind of emotion that I haven't seen flash in his eyes before he buried his face in the crook of my neck.

"I wanted to give you something this evening but my dad ruined everything." He complained against my neck, making me laugh.

"You can still give me. It's not too late you know."

"Okay, hold on." He stretched out, trying to reach for something from the coffee table, and handed it over to me.

"What is this?" I asked, taking the plastic bag from his hand.

"Uhh...well, I didn't know what to get you for Diwali. I mean, it must be like your version of Christmas or something. You told me it was a festival of lights.."

"So you got me scented candles?" I asked, looking inside the bag to find a bunch of different candles, all beautiful and smelling heavenly.

"Yeah, I mean I tried to find those earthen lamps but nobody knew what it was so it went for the alternative and now, maybe we could light up our home too." He finished, scratching the back of his head adorably and his cheeks turned a deep shade of red.

Oh my God!

Ray Anderson was blushing.

"Fuck, I knew it was stupid. You probably hate candles," he let out a nervous chuckle and tried to take away the candles from me.

Aww, he was so fucking cute!

And he said 'our home'!

"Wh-- Ray, no! I love them. This is so amazing and I'm just shocked that you gave so much thought about it." I grinned widely, admiring the candles, " It's 'our home' now, is it?" I asked in a teasing manner and he rolled his eyes.

"Come on, I was angry. Cut me some slack, sweetheart." He smiled, pushing a strand of my hair away from my forehead and suddenly we heard the notification sound of his phone. He pulled it out from his jean pocket and raised his eyebrows.

"Wow, I thought they wouldn't do it due to the rain."

"Do what?" I asked with a confused look on my face but he just winked at me and lifted me off his lap.

"Come on, there is one more thing." He stated, taking my hands and led me towards the balcony.

"Wait for it," he grinned widely as we stood against the railing and before I could even blink, there was a flash of light across the sky, bursting into beautiful colors above me. I had my jaw, hanging to the floor as I looked at him and then back to the dark sky unable to believe what I was witnessing right now.

Fireworks!
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