Niharika shivered and grabbed his hand quickly to stop him. ‘Vikram! Slowly!’ The dimly lit room with two red candles in corners have made the night more sensual. He overcame her resistance and started slipping his hand through the finely knitted silky night wear. Her nails are scratching his muscular back. Vikram fell for her alluring lower lip and started osculating that luscious part of her.
~ ♥ ~ ♣ ~ ♥ ~
Two knocks are heard at the door. Vikram glanced at her still lying in bed and opened the door to allow a very small gap and received the tray.
‘Sir, car will be ready by 8. Please collect the number from our reception,’ said the boy and left.
Senior Consultant with 10 years of domain experience. Tall, not-so-dark but not-so-fair complexion, smart, health conscious, tech-savvy and responsible – these describe Vikram in a nutshell; a hot cake personality for a matrimonial site indeed.
Vikram always hates these 2-3 days of business tour to meet clients. But, it’s Sanjay’s blind trust that compels him to agree on such proposals reluctantly every time.
‘When is the meeting?’ asked Niharika, rising halfway in bed and pulling the white bed-sheet close towards the diamond pendant hanging from her neck.
‘Only an hour left. Hurry up! Sanjay will start poking in no time.’
‘Oh! I trust you. You’re gonna win the deal for sure. Promise me to plan a hassle free vacation next time, where no fucking Sanjay could reach us’, said Niharika with big eyes glowing with hope. ‘By the way, did you put my laptop on charge at night? Don’t say NO! Sanjay will give me a hard time if the same mistake gets repeated.’
‘And yes! Don’t forget to collect the separate bills for our rooms. People are very sceptical nowadays!’ she said by having her tea before entering the washroom.
‘Can we manage a quick bath tub encounter, darling?’ shouted Niharika from inside with an appealing tone giving a hint of naughtiness.
‘No time for jokes now,’ replied Vikram harshly.
‘Did Maya call you this morning?’ she asked.
~ ♥ ~ ♣ ~ ♥ ~
‘…And that’s how it’s going to be. Our clients always trusted the project model architected by us, and by God’s grace, we always exceeded the initial expectations set in the contracts.’
The client representative sitting in front row started clapping and that got resonated across the room very quickly. Vikram’s confident smile reflected his inner satisfaction. By adjusting his bow tie, he took a glimpse of Sanjay appearing in video conference screen and Niharika busy in her laptop controlling the presentation.
‘One final slide. The most important one. Please have a look in the gross estimation structure which will be followed during the entire project timeline.’
Vikram turned his face towards the screen. A big blue slide is displaying “Thank You” banner.
‘Sorry!’ Vikram looked at Niharika sharply. She is looking at her laptop screen with a cup of tea in her left hand and seems to be unaware of the situation completely. Sanjay personally sent her a wake-up ping to bring her back to sense. Being startled, she tried to quickly read Vikram’s face to understand the slide required at that moment and to make things worse by hasty movement, the cup slipped from her hand and tea spilled all over the keyboard. Two minor sparks and the projector screen became entirely dark.
‘MAYAAAAA…..!’ shouted Vikram at her but stopped all of a sudden, only to check himself.
~ ♥ ~ ♣ ~ ♥ ~
‘What the hell is going on between my husband and that bitch?‘ Maya’s patience was at its lowest ebb and she was ready to burst.
Sanjay knew that she was serious. ‘Look, Maya. There is nothing going on between the two of them. Just a little bit of healthy flirting, I’d say.‘
‘Flirting? Healthy flirting? Really Sanjay . . .‘ she rolled her eyes in disgust. ‘That’s what you men call it? There is nothing healthy about flirting, Sanjay, not for a married man.
Healthy flirting is a term introduced by perverted men who want to lend legitimacy to their extramarital dalliances. Flirting invariably has a sexual connotation to it.‘ She got up from her seat and walked around the room gesticulating and muttering something to herself. Suddenly she stopped, turned back, looked at Sanjay and asked, ‘Did my husband sleep with her? You are his friend. Did he ever tell you anything about it?‘
‘Please don’t ask me about her, such a spoilsport. Forget about her Maya. Tell me what Vikram brought for you from his last tour.’ Sanjay felt bit relieved after switching the topic somehow.
‘Only a diamond pendant. By the way, I’m impressed by your shrewdness. Vikram has got a clever friend indeed.’ Maya portrayed a sly smile.
~ ♥ ~ ♣ ~ ♥ ~
‘No sir, that’s not working since evening. We’ve registered complaint but it seems maintenance work will only start at midnight. Please take the stairs today.’
14th floor is not a matter of joke after working for 10 hours. Vikram started climbing without having any second choice.
Door bell rings!
Maya shut the refrigerator door and adjusted her saree by quickly tucking the pallu in her waist. She opened the door and found Vikram panting.
‘The fucking lift is fucked up today. Such a disgusting place we live in!’ said Vikram and unbuttoned his shirt and threw it to the sofa nearby. He entered the bedroom and pushed the door from inside to close it without locking.
Maya washed the dishes and arranged those in the dining table. It’s been 15 minutes since Vikram went inside the room. Maya has several arguments to confront him. This time gap may reduce her anger gradually. Thinking this she opened the bedroom door curiously.
Lights and fan are switched on. Balcony door is open. Vikram is not in the room. She quickly ran towards the balcony and found no one there. Her face is turning pale. She approached the railing with fear looming in her eyes.
A big crowd is gathering at something at the ground floor and some people are pointing towards this balcony. A spine chilling sensation is making Maya numb. She stepped back from the edge and looked back into the room again with a strange and hidden fear. Vikram is nowhere to be seen.
Maya doesn’t know what to do now. Her hands and legs are getting senseless and sweat is dripping from her forehead. She looked at her mobile and started looking for any emergency contact she could remember. And suddenly . . .
The doorbell rings again!
Startled by the sound, Maya lifted herself somehow from the Sofa and approached the door.
‘Sorry I’m late. The fucking lift is not working today,’ said Vikram by looking at shivering Maya. He is standing outside the door and gasping for breath.
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