Chapter Twenty Two: Hello Hello

They made the rest of the ride in silence, the weight of their conversation hanging over their heads. His hands felt clammy as they approached his apartment, his leg bouncing with nerves. He could see the tension in the way she gripped the steering wheel, tapping her fingers against the leather.  

 

She had put it all out there.

 

Did she still love him?

 

He glanced over at her, trying to discern something — anything — from her expression. But it gave nothing away, her face inscrutable as she focused on the road in front of her. He leaned his head against the headrest, his mind churning.

 

“Would it have mattered if it was someone else?”

 

“Yes.”

 

The words had come without thinking, a gut reaction of relief and jealousy. He hated the unsettled feeling that lingered, breaking down the carefully constructed walls he had placed when it came to her.

 

He studied her profile, following the gentle slope of her nose down to the pout of her lips and the small indentation in her chin. It was so familiar, and yet, there were lines he didn’t know.

 

He wanted to know them.

 

He cursed under his breath as the thought slipped in without resistance. She briefly shot a glance at him, concern in her expression.

 

“You okay?”

 

“Yup.” He responded, wincing at how terse he sounded. She snapped back at his tone, going silent. “Long day.” He added, by way of explanation.

 

She made a quiet noise of agreement, and he found himself desperately searching for words to say. The heaviness of the conversation from earlier sat over them. He was painfully conscious of her every move, from the way her fingers twisted around the steering wheel to the small adjustments she made to her posture as she drove.

 

She pulled up to the curb near his apartment, the tension between them growing as she grabbed one of his bags, walking up with him to the building. His fingers fumbled with the keys as he opened the door, his heart pounding against his chest as they climbed the stairs. He unlocked it, setting his bag down with a thump.

 

She placed the bag at the foot of his door, looking up at him. The dim lighting left shadows on her cheeks from her eyelashes, and he resisted the urge to reach out and touch the curl that had come loose from her ponytail and rested on her cheek.

 

He shouldn’t be doing this.

 

“I should probably go.” She murmured. But she remained where she was standing, her gaze locked on his.

 

They stared at each other, the only sound in the hallway the sound of their breathing.

 

Fuck it.

 

He took two steps forward, his hands cupping her face as he took her lips in a searing kiss. She sighed into his mouth, her arms winding around his neck as he walked her back against the door, his hand floundering for the doorknob.

 

She broke away from him, breathing heavily as he moved to close the door. “Bags.” She murmured, smoothing her hair fruitlessly as he muttered an oath underneath his breath. He tossed them in a corner. He turned back to her, kissing her deeply, breaking only to lift the t-shirt above her head.

 

“Bed, Raj.” She said between kisses, her voice breathless. Wordlessly, he lifted her up, kicking off his pants as he placed her on the bed. She waited impatiently as he tried to undo the buttons on his shirt, his fingers shaking. With a relieved curse, he tossed it aside, moving towards her.

 

Her lips were warm against the side of his neck, trailing gentle kisses across his collarbone as his hands slid up her waist. She bit back a gasp when his hands found her breasts, roughly molding them against his palm. Her nails grazed the skin on his back as he gently pushed her down, placing himself between her thighs.

 

He paused, looking down at her. “Shit Anya, I’m sorry I didn’t check if you were –”

 

“I want you now.” She said, cutting him off swiftly. He swore, entering her with a swift thrust as she cried out his name. He took his time, gritting his teeth as the sensation threatened to overwhelm him. She moved impatiently beneath him, lifting her hips.

 

“What the fuck are you waiting for?” She muttered, pulling his lips down to hers as they kissed messily. He laughed throatily, his control hanging tenuously.

 

“I’m trying to last.”

 

“Don’t.” She snapped. “Just fuck me.”

 

His eyes darkened and he grasped her legs and raising them to wrap around his hips. She threw her head back as he kissed her neck, his teeth leaving a mark on her collarbone. He moved faster, her gasps urging him to reach his peak. She blindly reached for his hand, and he moved it to the spot where they were connected.

 

She came apart beneath him, crying out his name as he buried his face in her neck and thrust twice more. He felt the adrenaline rush as he groaned, collapsing on top of her before untangling their limbs and carefully rolling off. They lay next to each other, exhausted as they caught their breath. He turned to face her, brushing her hair behind her ear.  

 

She reluctantly got up to use the restroom, her body thrumming with pleasant satisfaction. She could feel his gaze on her as she closed the door, and when she walked out, he was still looking at her. She leaned down to kiss him softly, her fingers lingering against his cheek.

 

She walked over to her t-shirt, tugging it over her head. His brow crinkled, and she turned towards him with a guarded smile. “I should probably go.” She said, by way of explanation.

 

Their gazes held and he could see the hesitancy in her eyes.

 

“Stay.” He said quietly. She inhaled slowly, searching his gaze for a long moment. She nodded hesitantly, tiptoeing back to the bed and sliding in. They held themselves apart from each other, the intimacy of the moment almost too much.

 

He leaned over after a tense pause, wrapping an arm around her waist as he pulled her towards him. She stiffened for a moment and then relaxed tentatively, and his fingers tightened around her waist. She nestled into him, fitting her body to his. He kissed her shoulder, and she let out a satisfied sigh.

 

They stayed there for a long while, enjoying the moment. His palm was warm against her stomach, and he could feel her breathing in and out against his hand.

 

“What are we doing, Raj?” She asked, twisting in his grasp. He stilled, exhaling slowly.

 

“Stop thinking.” He said finally, avoiding the question. Her face fell but she said nothing, curling into him. His eyelids grew heavy, and he felt her grow heavy beside him as she fell asleep.

 


 

He woke up to the smell of coffee, the chicory blend familiar to his senses. He felt lighter, the satiation giving him a warm feeling. The smell of the coffee stronger as he walked into the kitchen, wearing only his boxers. She raised her eyebrows at his attire as she gave him a once over.

 

“Like what you see, Iyer?” He asked cheekily, grinning. She rolled her eyes, ignoring his question.

 

“Coffee?” She handed him a mug, and he inhaled deeply as he took a sip of the dark liquid. She grimaced, shaking her head as she lifted her own mug to her lips.

 

“I can’t believe you can drink it black.”

 

“Sweetheart, what you drink isn’t coffee, it’s milk that’s been in the sun too long.” He drawled, the endearment sliding off his lips easily. Her cheeks reddened, and she shot him a halfhearted glare.

 

She leaned against the counter, taking a sip out of her own mug. She felt his gaze on her and looked up. His eyes lingered on her figure unassumingly, and he lifted his gaze to hers. Pleasant heat spread through her stomach, suddenly feeling self conscious.

 

Raj had not been her only partner, but there was a genuineness in his gaze that she had never seen with anyone else.

 

“You’re staring.” She said bluntly, unsure of how else to deal with the sudden rush of emotion she felt towards him. His cheeks darkened but he merely smirked, not missing a beat.

 

“I should get to work. I still have to grab clothes from home.” She muttered, pushing herself off the counter. He followed her into his room, watching as she grabbed her bra and underwear. He continued silently to the door.

 

Should he ask her if she was free later that week?

 

Did he even want to see her again?

 

Yes.

 

The answer was so… easy.

 

He drew a deep breath, unsettled by how quickly he had answered his own doubts. The thought of dating her was dangerously easy, his heart skipping a beat as his gaze drifted to her. He struggled to tamp down on the overwhelming urge to ask her to stay a little bit longer, to walk over there and kiss her before she left.

 

He quickly averted his gaze, as if that would make his feelings less real.  

 

He shouldn’t want this so badly.

 

She paused as she walked towards the door, adjusting her hair. She turned back to look at him just before she left. Her eyes flitted away, and she bit her lip, considering her words. “Do you want to get lunch with me on Wednesday? I get a little extra time.” She ventured uncertainly.

 

He froze, and she could see the walls immediately go up in his eyes as the words left her mouth. Her chest tightened as she realized that despite the last two nights, they were still exactly where they had been a few weeks ago.

 

Of course. She had made the classic mistake of assuming that having sex with someone meant that the relationship was actually going somewhere.

 

She pressed her lips together in a wan smile, struggling to disguise her emotions. She stepped back, the rejection stinging. “Right. Of course. I should go. I’ll see you around.”

 

He stared at her retreating back, his heart pounding.

 

She was walking away.

 

Before he could think the better of it he stepped out of his apartment, running to catch up with her before she could walk down the stairs. He grabbed her wrist to stop her and she turned around, confusion marring her features.

 

“What-”

 

“Wednesday works.” He said abruptly. Her eyes widened in surprise, searching his face for any sign of obligation. Her face broke into a tentative smile, and his heart flipped at how right it felt. She nodded slowly, and his grasp loosened on her wrist.

 

“I’ll see you Wednesday then.” Her smile grew a little more and she bit it back, adjusting her purse on her shoulder as she turned away from him. He shoved his hands in his pockets, watching as she disappeared through the door. He ignored the warning at the back of his mind, reminding him of their history together.

 

For this moment, he just wanted to forget about all of that.


Song: Hello Hello

Artist: Lewis Watson


Note: A little bit of an early update for you guys since I’m traveling for the next week — I hope you enjoyed it 😉 Lewis Watson is a relatively new discovery for me, so I’m curious to know what you think of the song.

As always, the follow buttons are on the right, and if you find that you’re not getting notifications, try unfollowing and refollowing again. If you’ve got time, please let me know what you think, with a comment 🙂

Love always,

MN.

53 thoughts on “Chapter Twenty Two: Hello Hello

  1. Stranger to the music, so no comments on that.

    Raj though wary yet he cannot escapte the familiarity of their togetherness. His acknowledging that in his head was good.
    Anya comes across open minded, cool to however the future pans out, but I suppose she is wary of this not going forward.
    Important wednesday ahead 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So finally we begin again .. happy ..
    I jst hope thy find thr way .. slowly thy will . Love is thr trust is thr thy jst need to rediscover all of it ..

    Beautiful update .. when she asked him on date I was like say yes yes ..n thn it was actually sad.. n than happy moment … ur wonderful writer
    Waiting for. Next

    Liked by 1 person

  3. History matters..I wonder how they will address the elephant in the room before it creates a mess again…lovely chapter and I can’t wait to read more.

    Happy travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another beautiful update…!!
    they just cant keep their hands off one another ha…
    My heart sank for a moment when he did not replied on her asking for lunch…!!
    But i am so glad he made an effort to respond…
    its true that he will be hesistant…
    he dont wanna get hurt again..
    But itz good to see they both are working along it…!!
    Hope this really works for them….!!
    i so loved it…
    this update was worth the wait…
    plz continuee soon…tc😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Who would expect this uncertainty to be in a relationship which was once so deep. But then, you don’t truly realise how deep you truly are when you are there. And about the other person, it’s always sceptic, isn’t it? You are never too sure even about the things you are sure about. Is a relationship supposed to feel home? Or is some trespassing always permitted? Which is the better and which the worse? There are not enough lines drawn, I think. These blurred lines have there own charm, I think. Definers, that’s what they are. I am eager to see where their definition reaches.

    Love,
    Reveur.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, they are slowly back to the pattern of familiarity they once had….But comes with many other things lingering back….which they have not answered…I guess they will get used to seeing each other before either of them approach it…Only then they can be back to loving each other to the fullest…
    This was not about lust making them impatient…But the desire to get nearer to each other…being the lover back like the time when they had the best times….I feel so good to see Anya moving her steps forward…when raj is still doubtful about his heart or mind….But he will soon see her sincerity….
    Nice update yet again dear,

    😍
    Pavina

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think Raj is more cautious this time .. it will take time to restore the trust again .. one thing is good that they can’t keep hand off from each other

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a hot update..but at the same time I cannot help but admire how the relationship is progressing without both knowing about it. How people can relate to this confusion of maybe maybe not, it almost feels like you are trying to gauze if your crush likes you or not. Though it isn’t, it almost gives the feeling of first crush or maybe even first love. I love reading this so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow…this time i thought arnav will take the first step…but nope, he is still too scared. But hope he come over that soon before he loses her again coz of his ignorance… .
    Lets see how the lunch works:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s hard to build trust once it is broken.. more when you got hurt badly.. I can see why it was difficult for Raj to move forward.. the walls he built around his heart to protect it from not broken further are very strong.. Ananya opening up is only a tiny step.. there is a long way to go I guess 🙂

    Thank you for the steamy update 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah..Raj…focus on Ur present by reminding only Ur history…
    & ignore Ur doubts& her blunders for a while as U did do now…
    Of course it will be tough but U know right… She worth it…& U deserve her…❤
    & at the end that’s what matters..& Ur happiness!!

    Superb Update Dear!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “He studied her profile, following the gentle slope of her nose down to the pout of her lips and the small indentation in her chin. It was so familiar, and yet, there were lines he didn’t know.

    He wanted to know them.”
    — This is brilliant piece!

    Lovely update! ❤
    Hope their lunch date goes well. And this awkwardness between them can be lessened.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear I loved the update , its brilliant.

    Their passion & chemistry is like sizzling fire. Their sex is too too hot.

    Ananya wants to revive their relation but Raj is a bit skeptical. He is still not 100% sure if he wants to give Ananya another chance because of their past.

    But I think this time, it will be forever. Ananya will not repeat her folly. She genuinely wants Raj back in her life. Hope so Raj will welcome her with open arms & give their relation another chance, but its easier said than done.

    Its difficult to trust your love & give your love another chance; if once your love has betrayed your trust.

    Impatiently waiting to see how their date will go on Wednesday.

    (orchids8888 from IF)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I wouldn’t want to be Raj. 🙂 Can’t imagine how f-ed up this is for him. He is very weary and rightfully so. Anya’s position is not easy either. She knows she wants a second chance. It might be so hard to pace herself, not moving too fast, not taking a wrong step to make sure this is not screwed up further. This waiting she does for him to reach where she is, this agony of uncertainty of if he even wants to reach there is just….

    Written beautifully again, choti! And the lyrics of “Hello Hello” is so beautiful and apt for them, in this chapter specifically. Never heard of Watson before, I really enjoyed the song. (but did he seriously include 2 mins of hellos the end?, lol)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. In the next 5 years Choti – explore more genres, write more stories, get published. It would be a criminal to not explore such talent for what it can be.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Another fabulous update, the word ‘flawless’ comes to me again, beautifully written, they are taking tentative steps and I am sure it will lead to their happily ever after, there will be doubts and insecurities to start with – as the past lingered between them, but they have to make an effort to overcome it all.

    Beautiful and sensual update, and I have the same complaint again, its so so so small 🙂 !!

    Waiting for the next one as always……

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Take your time, no rush and no worries, this story is worth waiting for as long as it takes for you to update!!

        Like

  17. You have a way with words! I can’t wait to see how their walls come tumbling down fully. I want them to get married and have a dozen kids haha! Anyways….loved the chapter :)) you always make it worth the wait!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Once bitten twice shy” totally applies to them here …
      The chemistry and attraction for each other is still sizzling hot but the past is making them both cautious and making them tread carefully so as not to repeat their past mistakes … of him trusting her blindly and her taking him for granted …

      Thankyou Choti …

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Amazing update👌😊! Both of them have irresistible attraction and longing for each other. They want to spend as much with each other but at the same time, they’re scared to make any commitments because of their past relationship. Both of them need to talk openly to each othet with patience, trust and understanding. I’m sure they’ll be passionately in love with each other this time around and won’t take each other for granted. Best of luck to them. They first need to admit their feelings and be truthful about the past. Can’t wait to read more🤔😊! You’re a brilliant writer😊!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi,

    What a beautiful update..very endearing to watch them take the first steps to mend their relationship and move forward! Raj’s inhibitons and him breaking those and looking forward to the date was so perfectly written! The great thing I love about your writing is your updates though short have so much content and are so meaningful that as a reader, I feel that the ending you give to every update is so appropriate and makes me crave and look forward to reading the next part of the story!

    Thank you for the reply for the earlier chapter. That was very kind of you.

    I see from other readers comments that you seem to be a student! Good luck for your course work! Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. First of all apologies for the delay on my part…..AD took over…

    Wow!! What a chapter, getting back with an ex, so much to say, so much left unsaid.
    SO much baggage, what could have been, how can this time be any different, each one ensuring that they don’t get hurt – you have portrayed it so beautifully…

    Can’t wait for the Wednesday lunch…..

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hey,it’s good to see Anu taking baby steps..she tries to rebuild the path to his heart..not so easy when he is on high guards..the chemistry,attraction,wants to be each other still exists yet there is also the guarded heart which fears to trust again..
    you perfectly penned down their feelings as usual..beautifully shown emotions..
    i liked the song:)

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The difference is stark… she is welcoming this second chance with open arms while he is constantly questioning if he should give in to the second chance so easily. They sure r not in the same place logically. They feel the chemistry and are in tune as long as nothing is discussed. But the minute discussion comes in, she senses a stiffness in him. Poor Ananya, can only hooe she doesnt get burnt again.

    Like

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