Namrata was full of nerves in anticipation of what was in store tonight. As she cooked the dinner she kept looking at the clock. Her mother and brother, Nirmay were used to her working late so she didn’t have to make up excuses for her coming back home late. But still, today she felt guilty for hiding her rendezvous from them… not that she could ever tell them what she was up to. At 6PM, she rushed to her tiny room, to get ready.
She had a quick bath and cringed at her meagre clothes collection. She never had to impress anyone with clothes. Her company gave her clothes for the event as per the requirement and she had to return those… like the beautiful black gown she had worn last evening. Of course, even if she didn’t get clothes from her workplace, she couldn’t have afforded an expensive wardrobe with her perilous budget.
She chose a green cup sleeved gown with floral print. Her eyes had specks of brown colour and this dress brought that out well. Then she put on minimal make up… Just a touch of kajal and light brown lip colour. Her hair was silky. So she just brushed it and caught it together behind her neck using a clutch. She then took her purse and checked on her folks. Her mother was in the hall practising some exercise she must have been taught today. NIrmay had gone off to play. She waved a good bye to her mother and left the house.
She hailed an auto to the store mentioned in the message. As told she was promptly handed over a bag as soon as she told her name at the counter. She then took the auto to the address…
South market, sector 6
The auto dropped her outside a compound. The compound had high walls. It looked like a fortress. She wondered what kind of place it was. She told her name at the gate, she was allowed in and told to go to inside the only building and take the elevator to the ninth floor.
As she stepped inside the compound, she was spell bound by its beauty. The building which was a high rise was right in the centre surrounded by a huge manicured lawn behind it. She could hear a fountain too. The compound walls were lined by beautiful flower beds. She could identify some of them but most she couldn’t. They all looked exotic…
Soon she was on the elevator and got out on the tenth floor. She stepped out on the red carpet… literally!! The entire lobby was carpeted and at the end on one side there was a massive door. It appeared that there was only one flat on the entire floor. But of course… she shouldn’t have expected anything less from him.
She stood outside the flat and admired the carved wooden door. The carving was intricate and stunning. She couldn’t make out the pattern but knew it was the most beautiful design she had ever seen. She checked for a name plate but there was none. Not that it would have made much of a difference. She didn’t even know his name… he wasn’t listed on truecaller either.
Just then her eyes fell on a bronze knocker… and it was an eagle door knocker…
Namrata was taken aback. She somehow gathered her wits and knocked at the door.
A few seconds later she heard the latch and the door was opened. He stood there glowering at her. His beautiful eyes were shining…in the dim light of the entrance.
She cleared her throat which kind of shook him from his reverie… He gave her a side smile and moved aside to let her in.
His drawing room was huge. On the left was the seating area. There was a large L-shaped seater with greyish cushions and pillows on it. In front of it was a soft carpet with a centre table. There was a recklessly placed chair in the front. He must have been sitting on it before opening the door for her. On the wall opposite to the seater was a huge Plasma TV. There was a news channel playing and it was on mute. Huge off white and pale blue curtains adorned the French window adjacent to the seater. There were chandeliers like structures hanging from the ceiling. The wall behind the seater had pictures of some scenery. He probably was a nature lover. On the right side of the hall there was a dining area. There was a four-seater dining table with matching chairs.
Strangely there were no family or personal pictures anywhere…
“So… you came…” He said behind her, startling her.
She turned around… he was standing very close. She took in his appearance. He was dressed in black track pants and white full sleeved t-shirt… a far cry from the formal look she saw today or last evening. He was smiling at her. He took the bag and her purse from her hand and kept them on the centre table. He came close to her and said, “You haven’t greeted me my little sparrow”. He lifted her chin with his palm and kissed her.
Namrata was lost in the heated moment. She tasted mint on his tongue… she took the lead this time and explored his mouth. After what seemed like ages, they moved apart… both breathing heavily. Namrata looked at him with a glazed look of want… he was watching her as if he wanted to devour her then and there. His palm continued holding her chin. He said, “As much as I want you right now, it’s time for dinner. My cook made some lovely food before I sent him home for today. So let’s eat…”
Namrata barely managed to nod. He put an arm around her shoulder and took her to the dining table. Like a gentleman he held the chair for her to sit. He then disappeared into what she though was the kitchen and got out a trey with food on it.
The dinner was delicious. Namrata had thought she wouldn’t be able to eat with knots in the stomach. But to her surprise, she enjoyed the lovely dinner. His cook was amazing. So was her company.
He engaged her in simple conversation during dinner. He was sitting on the opposite side so they could see each other. She realised she hadn’t freely smiled like this in the last six years and maybe even before that. They discussed the weather, politics and cricket. Though she didn’t have much knowledge about the last two, she realised she enjoyed the conversation because he was involved… he didn’t throw information in her direction but made interesting small talk which she enjoyed and eventually relaxed.
After dinner, they went to an adjoining balcony. It was extremely breezy… she stood shivering when she felt a blanket on her. He put it around her shoulders. They stood together staring at the traffic on the highway far away… he put his arms around her and held her closed. She kept her head on his chest from the side and hugged herself…
Namrata didn’t want this moment to end…
“Can I ask you something?” Namrata spoke breaking the silence
“What is your name?” she looked up at him.
He turned her completely to face him, still holding her. “My little sparrow, I am the giant eagle”
“No seriously… what is your… name?” she asked.
“Let’s leave it at our nick names. Isn’t it fun?” he asked smiling.
Namrata looked away…
“What is it little sparrow? You don’t trust me?” He asked
“I… wouldn’t be here if I didn’t…” Namrata started.
“…then just leave it at that… please…”he whispered.
Hearing him say that, she looked up into his eyes… trying to read them. They glittered in the light of the night sky. She could see his day long stubble which only made him look more… appealing. She swallowed at the feelings it invoked in her. Something she had never felt before. She nodded slightly…
He held her away from him still holding her shoulders. After a moment he said, “Come inside”
He held her hand and took her inside… to his bedroom.
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