‘Hey, hey, hey! Take it easy, a’right? Christ!’
‘You don’t see him complaining. What’s it to you?’
Swara took off her sunglasses as she slowly entered the backdoor to a building in which she was taken to see her husband. She’d insisted on seeing him, and he arranged for the bodyguard/chauffeur to bring her where he was conducting some business. She’d asked Arif, the man’s name, what this place was buthe just shrugged like he always did. He didn’t talk much.As she made her way further in, she could hear what she concluded was an Italian man say ‘Jesus!’
The other man, who seemed bored out of his mind then said ‘If you’re gonna be sick, take it elsewhere’
Her brows furrowed, and just as she was about to enter the room from where the two men were talking, Arif stopped her, holding her elbow,and gesturing for her to go into another room down the hall.She furrowed her brows. Whatever was going on in that room couldn’t have been nice. Her curiosity spiked and then before she could reach the room she was being taken to, Don stepped out.
She looked at him,he seemed oddly disheveled. It wasn’t often that she’d see him any less than a picture perfect GQ cover.
‘Sweetheart, what’s the matter, hm?’ he was acting as though nothing was off, but she eyed his unkempt hair, his shirt was all wrinkled and a bit sweaty
She eyed him suspiciously ‘Have you… been in a fight?’
Don just looked at her and didn’t say anything ‘Chalo, let’s go’
She just looked at him as he stepped back into the room to grab his coat. He ran his fingers through his hair and down his stubble and just like that, he was back on the cover of GQ.
As they were making their way back down the hall, someone stumbled from the room she’d been curious about
He looked pale and was running a handkerchief over his forehead, but stopped in his track as they saw the two of them ‘Signora!’ his face lighting up
‘Not now, Antonio’Don promptly said‘Wait’
Swara smiled ‘Hi. You’re… ‘ she then looked at Don ‘He’s been filling in for Sam, na?’
The young man squared his shoulders and said ‘No, signora. I’m nothing like Sam, I can assure you. I’m Tony ’
but then he gave her a smile and reached over to kiss the back ofher hand reverently ‘I’ve been dying to meet the missus’
‘Keep that up and you’ll be well on your way’ Don muttered.
Swara blushed. She’d always beena sucker for Italian men and their accents. And Tony was nothing short of an authentic Italian, the kind you see in the Godfather and wonder if they’re the real deal.
All clad up in a perfect 3 piece suit, Tony looked the part. His features were almost feminine, but his frame and posture inspired masculinity. Also, he seemed to have mistaken his cologne for mouthwash.
‘Hi Tony, I’m SWara’
Tony flashed a large smile ‘Davvero? Swara? The boss has never mentioned that. But you’re not Italian’ he chuckled ‘You frowned as though I’d said something vulgar. It meant “really?” ‘
‘I didn’t think it was vulgar’ she giggled ‘I was just trying to remember where I’d heard it before’
Don exhaled audibly ‘Shouldn’t you be helping out Siracusse?’ his voice grave
‘Boss, I need some fresh air’
he grimaced, remembering to wipe his forehead again
Don grimaced in return, as if disgusted by his weakness, and then led Swara out and into the Maserati that was waiting for them inthe back alley. Arif was gone, and so was the Bentley they’d drove in.
‘Uuuu, no driver?’ Swara feigned surprise, although she was actually surprised. Nowadays, Don rarely drove himself without any security
‘I need to blow off some steam’
After driving for a while, Swara asked, placing her hand over Don’s who seemed a bit zoned out
‘Hey, what’s the matter?’
He shrugged ‘You tell me. You’re the one that wanted to see me and said it couldn’t wait. So, talk’
She looked at him pensively for a moment then decided it was best not to push his buttons ‘Do I really need a serious reason for wanting to see myhusband in the middle of the afternoon?’ she smiled at him
‘You kind of do, when he’s busy’ he raised an eyebrow and looked at her intently
‘Well, you don’t look that busy now’ she giggled
She could see a smile creeping in the corner of his lips, and then he shook his head asif to tell her she was incorrigible She was surprised to see them nearing a park.
She was even more surprised when he walked over to get the door for her and helping her out, kept her hand in his as he began pulling her towards the park
‘Is this… safe?’ sheasked
He chuckled ‘You’re always safe with me’ he added on a graver tone‘Yeah, but, you know…’He just pulled her closer and wrapped his arm around her waist as they kept walking through the park
They finally fit together like they used to. After months of Don feeding her in Michelin star restaurants, she was finally back toher curvy figure.Plus he’d been adamant that for the time being, she was not safe going back to teaching her tae kwon do classes.
Her life would’ve been totally boring for the past 3 months had Don not made sure she was thoroughly entertained when he got back home to her. Be it fancy trips around the world or just staying in, with him reading a book, or cooking something for her,or training together, or indulging in other physical activities,she never felt lonely or bored, but she did fear that she would soon fall into routine and as kept thinking of ways to persuade Don into reasoning with her.
She needed to teach again, she loved doing it and she missed training aswell.Whenever he returned home, she could never tell what he’d been up to all day long. It was almost as if he had a 9 to 5 job, a job he left at the threshold of their downtown London duplex and never crept inside their home.
Some days he’d be early, some days he’d come back home later in the evening, but he always showered her with endless attention and his energy level seemed unaltered.
She wondered for how much longer he’d be able to keep it up. He was well into his 40s, after all, and she made sure she reminded him of that just to spite him. Because she always loved how he proved her wrong.
‘You’re awfully quiet’ he pointed out
‘Oh, I was just thinking’
after a while she added
‘Tony seems nice’
Don grimaced ‘Yeah, that’s what’s wrong with him’
She laughed ‘Come on. He’s there next to you for a reason. I’m sure he’s good at… whatever it is he’s doing’.
Swara knew better than to inquire on any aspects of his“work”. Don had told her head start, whatever she wanted to know, he’d tell her.But she’d better be sure she wanted to know, because he wasn’t going to lie to her.That stuck to Swara.
She knew Don was back to his old ways. She knew exactly what that involved. But she decided to turn a blind eye ever since she’d told him she didn’t want to try and change him anymore. She accepted him for what he was. But that didn’t mean she wanted to know exactly what that was, either.
She flinched slightly ‘Hm?’
He exhaled and made her sit on a bench, placing hisarm over her shoulders ‘Come on. Why did you want to see me?’
She sighed ‘I was getting to it’
‘You know you don’t have to sugar coat it or beat around the bush with me. Just, out with it’
Swara sighed again ‘As I said. Tony seems nice. But… what about Sam?’
Don looked away, as if he was analyzing the people passing by‘What about him?’
‘Well… aren’t you going to talk to him?’
He didn’t reply, so she went on ‘Don… you know you have to’
When he still didn’t reply she placed a hand over his cheek and slowly turned his head to face her
‘I know why you’re staling’
‘Then why are you asking?’
‘Just, it has to be done and over with. Don’t you want to?’
Don exhaled audibly, he knew what she was referring to. She was asking him whether he wanted to see Maya.
‘You know I do’
‘Then don’t let this keep you from seeing her. You owe that to both yourself and Sam’
‘He’s got every right to keep me from seeing her’
‘Why? I mean… did you try to?’
‘No. I just think it’s better if I kept my distance’
‘Better for who?’
she raised an eyebrow and he looked back at her again
‘did you get so wise? Leave that to the elderly’ he chuckled as he brought her closer to him and nuzzled her earlobe, biting on it playfully
She smiled ‘Come on, I’m serious. I’ll help you’
He raised his eyebrows ‘Help me?’
‘Haan, I’ll call Yana and arrange it’
He grimaced ‘This sounds eerily familiar’
‘I think I’ve seen it play out on The Flinstones’
Swaea just burst out laughing ‘What?’
He nodded ‘You know, whenever Fred and Barney have a fight, Welma and Betty always plot to bring them back together’
‘You’ve got to cut back on those cartoons, Don’
she kept laughing ‘Oh, God’ she shook her head amusedly‘So, should I do it?’she asked after a while
‘Nah, I’ll call the cable company’
Swara laughed ‘Come on, Don. I’m serious’
‘So you keep saying’
‘Look, the two of you can meet and we’ll leave it up to Sam if he’ll… let you see Maya. Alright?’
It wasn’t often that shr saw Don indecisive. Or even pensive, for that matter. He was always so sure of himself, utterly in control, that she felt almost happy to see him vulnerable at time.Because he made her feel all the more special when he seeked her opinion, advice, even if he didn’t come and ask her upfront
‘I’m really not sure about this, Swara…’
‘I am. Chalo. You’ve got class today, don’t you, professor Shmexy?’
Don chuckled as she pulled on his arm to get him to stand up
‘Don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to keep up my tenure’ he said
‘Ah, relax. Girls will still be throwing themselves at you even when you’re old. You’ve still got to grade their papers’
Don groaned and pinned her against the door to the Maserati, just before he was about to let her in
‘How about I skip class today and just focus on punishing my very naughty girl back home?’
She bit her lower lip, because he sounded dead serious and not at all playful. As much of a turn on that was, she squirmed beneath him and playfully pushed him aside as she got into the car
‘And, I mean, look at this car. They’d kill just for a ride in it’
Don was about to comment on the kind of ride she was referring to, but decided to postpone his punishing for later in the evening. He needed to keep his tenure at the university. After all, he was professor D’Souza by day, and he had to keep up that front.
Days after, Swara finally picked up the phone and called Yana. Don had been tense ever since she mentioned she’d arrange it, so she knew time was running out before he was going to change his mind about it entirely.
Calling her hadn’t been easy, but Yana was surprisingly nice, in spite of how much she must’ve hated her for almost ruining her family. She knew such things couldn’t really be discussed over phone, so they decided to meet up for coffee the following day.
Swara wasn’t about to tell Don about it and get his hopes up before she sealed the deal. Luckily, she managed to convince him to let her drive around by herself from time to time. After all, she knew better than to get herself into trouble, and she promised she’d call him immediately if she ever had the slightest feeling she was being followed.
He wasn’t happy with it, but he had no choice after she once complained about feeling locked up in a cage, only to be taken out on a leash by Arif.As she hoped into the smaller sports Mercedes that she was most comfortable driving around, she smiled to herself thinking this had to go well, for Don’s sake. She hoped to God that Yana would agree and have the guys meet up as soon as possible.
She wouldn’t mention Maya, not yet, she knew it was way too delicate and if anything, the two men had to patch up things between them before roping Maya in.One of Don’s rules was that she was to always tell him whenever she decided to go out on her own. He promised he wouldn’t have any of his henchmen follow her, but he needed to at least know about it so that he could not worry about her being somewhere all by herself constantly.She was bending the rules a bit today, but it was all for the higher scope.
When she finally parked the car and strode towards the terrace café where they decided upon, seeing that London was experiencing peculiarly nice weather, she froze seeing that Yana had brought Maya along with her.
Her heart sank, not knowing how to behave around the little girl. What if she asked about Don? Her heart would break just hearing her say that. She couldn’t back out, not now.So she inhaled profoundly and made her way to the table where the two were seating.
‘Maya, remember Swara?’
Swara tried to smile, as genuinely as she managed, taken a back by how much Maya had grown in the past 2 years since she’d last seen her. She feared it wasn’t really delivering but after Maya stared at her hard and long her eyes finally widened and she said
‘Is Don here?’
her breath caught. The little girl sounded so hopeful to see Don that she immediately realized just how strong of a bond the two must’ve developed.
‘No, sweetheart, I’m afraid not…’ she sat down slowly, with a halfsmile
‘Did you want to see him?’
Yana sighed, but when Swara looked up at her she saw that she wasn’t upset nor disturbed, but rather felt sorry for her little girl. She obviously missed her uncle Maya nodded, frowning slightly as her face dropped. For a moment, she really must’ve thought Don had been around the corner. It was as if witnessing a child being told Santa Claus wasn’t real.
‘Do you miss him?’Swara whispered, taking Maya’s hand in hers
But the little girl retreated her hand and looked away ‘Daddy says he’s busy, but he always used to make time for me. I’m worried about him. Is he alright?’
she slowly brought up her eyes to meet Swara’s.Swara’s heart broke in tiny pieces seeing Maya so heartbroken herself.
‘No darling, he’s fine. Sam is right though, he’s been very busy, that’s why he hasn’t had the chance to see you lately. But he wants to, more than anything. He misses you so much’
she smiled at the little girl whose face seemed to brighten up just the slightest.
‘Maybe…’ Swara continued, her eyes searching Yana’s this time
‘Maybe daddy will take you these days to see Don?’
Maya’s eyes widened again and she turned to look at her mother,waiting for a confirmation
Yana lowered her gaze and for a moment, Swara thought that for sure Sam would never do that. He was a man, at the end of the day, and he had his own pride, after all. What Don had done was kind of unforgivable, so she didn’t blame him in the least. She just felt terribly sorry for both Maya and Don.
But then, Yana said ‘Sam has been thinking about it for a while now. I suppose that’s why you wanted us to meet up, too’
‘He has?’ Swara almost whispered
Yana nodded ‘It breaks his heart to see Maya so sad about it. She’s grown very fond of Don, you know. He’s been like a father for her for so long…’
‘Yana… for what it’s worth… you should know I had no clue about this,whatsoever… had I known I would have done something, anything—‘
‘It’s alright, Swara. I know you didn’t know. Sam wouldn’t tell you. I’ll be very honest’ Yana looked Swara straight in the eye ‘I know none of it is your fault, but as a mother and a wife I had to go through some really tough situations because of you. I don’t hold you to it. I don’t even hold Don to it. He’s treated my little girl like a princess and I know how much he loves her. I don’t hold Sam to it, either. Maybe I would’ve handled things differently, but he’s loyal up to a fault. And he’s been loyal to both you and Don, despite all this. There were days, so many days when I just wanted to shake him out of it, to tell him to man up and stand for his family, but apart from the fact that deep down I knew there wasn’t much he could do as Don would’ve had his away about it regardless, I also knew that this was exactly the man I’d fallen in love with. He’s selfless and loyal and always puts himself in others’ shoes. He was suffering like crazy but still he did what he felt was the best he could do given the circumstances’
she exhaled audibly shaking her head ‘I’m just glad it’s all over, but it’s not, not really. Not until those two come face to face’
Swara was so taken aback by all that Yana had said that she barely managed to nod and reach out to squeeze her shoulder ‘I’m so sorry, Yana. Really, I am. We’ve all been victims of a situation none of us was really guilty of’
‘I guess that’s life. I just … I’ll talk to Sam. I know he’s been thinking about it. But now that you’re saying Don is also thinking about it…’
‘You wouldn’t recognize him if you saw how torn up he is about this. He’s trying really hard to keep it away from me, but I know he’s hurting. He misses her’ she looked back at Maya lovingly
Yana turned to her daughter and handed her some money ‘Go inside and get yourself a hot chocolate, hm?’
Maya smiled and went inside the café after taking the money
Yana turned to Roma ‘You know…I’ve seen him at his worst’
Swara blinked at her and let her go on.‘He’s been a wreck without you, Swara. That man loves you more than life itself. And for a man like Don, that speaks volumes. I never realized it until I saw him hit rock bottom. I don’t know where I got the courage, especially that he was extremely hungover, if not still drunk. But I confronted him and I saw the real Don for the first time, ever. That’s why I forgave him, he truly had gone through hell without you, Swara’
Swara felt tears escape her eyes. She didn’t even need to ask for further details. If what Yana saw in him was enough for her to forgive him, then she knew it must’ve been monumental.
‘Let’s make this happen’
Yana winked at her and Swara let out a soft laughter. She really hoped it all turned out for the best.
Don sighed, the car coming to a halt yet again amidst London traffic. He was beginning to regret agreeing to this already. He had far better things to do than attend a stupid party. And even if he hadn’t, he’d still have preferred to spend some quality time with Swara.
Alone. But no, she’d insisted they’d show up.
‘Ah, loosen up, professor’ she chuckled
‘You couldn’t look less excited if you tried!’
He leaned back against the headrest ‘Yeah, I’m ecstatic’
‘Hey. When’s the last time we had some fun?’
‘This morning’ he stared right back at her, no hint of joke in his tone. As always, he was blatantly natural about their s*x life, whereas she still blushed remembering how he’s woke her up.
She held back a giggle ‘You know what I mean’ she rolled her eyes but avoided looking a thin. She’d have only blushed deeper with him staring at her like that ‘Besides, the girls always wanted to meet you’
‘Huh. How graphic did you use to get when you told them all about how I rocked your world?’
Swara couldn’t stand it anymore. She punched his shoulder playfully and was relieved when they finally got to move through traffic some more so that Don wouldn’t keep ogling at her ‘I did no such thing!’
she laughed‘Yeah, right. Come on, sweetheart, as if I didn’t know what co-workers like to gossip about during lunch breaks’
‘Yeah, well, maybe,but not tae-kwon-do instructors. There’s no time for gossip. Plus, we’re tougher than that. We’re not the usual secretaries gossiping about how hot the new boss looks and how we went down on our men back home whilst thinking about him’
Don hit the breaks so hard that for a split second she really feared they’d get bumped into, forgetting how slow the traffic was
‘What are you doing?!’Don seemed to snap out of it, but only long enough to get the car back into motion ‘Are you trying to cause me a heart attack?’
He was downright angry but she did sense a tiny bit of humor in his grave stone, which made her throw back her head laughing ‘Why, what’d I say?’ she feigned innocence
He grabbed hold of his tie knot and loosened it, exhaling audibly. Swsta kept laughing. He suddenly snappedat her
‘Keep that up and you can forget all your progress making me consider you ever going back towork’
‘Ah, relax. There is no boss to gossip about, anyway’
she couldn’t help it. She bit her tongue slightly, trying to get herself to stop pushing his buttons, but this was just too good,seeing him get so worked up
‘I mean,there is, but we don’t see him roaming around cubicles all day, asking for coffee that we accidentally spill all over his lap, and—‘
But she couldn’t continue her sentence, Don took a sudden turn which she recognized to be heading towards the wrong way ‘What are you doing?!’
she found herself asking that twice in the last 5 minutes
When he didn’t answer she looked around some more, realizing he was definitely getting them back home.
She sweetened her tone ‘Don, come on… I’m sorry, ok? It was just too funny, I couldn’t help it’
even now she had to bite her lower lip, trying extra hard not to laugh again. He was mad at her. She also knew exactly how he’d punish her. Which made her smile deepen. She almost wanted to abandon the plan and let him have his way with her.
After a while of him not replying, she thought of a different approach‘Look… I know you don’t like me joking about stuff like that, I really am sorry, Don… but I really,really want to go to this party. I miss my only few friends here… you know how lonely I’ve been feeling…’
Normally, Don would never fall for such pleading. But she also knew he couldn’t stand her sounding so sad. That was his Achilles’ heel. He peaked at her, and she knew she’d won, but she couldn’t show himany sign of relief.
She kept pouting, without trying to look sweet, but just really genuinely sad, and just like that he made another turn and this time they were on the right track again.She knew better than to say anything else, so she turned on the radio loud enough to make her not want to continue pulling his leg, which she was still tempted to do. She resolved she’d wait until later, knowing fullywell that he won’t forget about it, and she’d just be adding more fuel to the fire when he’d
getting deliciously domineering with her. She loved that side of him, but it only came out to play every now and then, a rare treat for his very naughty wildcat, as he’d put it.
When they finally reached their destination, and waited on the porch for someone to answer the door, he stepped close enough to whisperinto her ear
‘Don’t think you’re off the hook. I’ll let you know exactly how I felt about your little attics just as soon as I can slip you unnoticed into one of the bathrooms’
She immediately got hot and bothered with his ardent promise, but had to remind herself that it definitely won’t be happening—which, of course he wouldn’t possibly know,yet.She looked at him as he looked as composed as ever, holding the huge birthday present that he didn’t even ask about its content.
He probably figured it’d be some feminine nonsense.Someone answered the door, finally, and they went inside. Swara kept looking at him, gauging his reaction; of course he wouldn’t know the place, given that it was brand new.
But that’s not why he was frowning. The music was totally off, the lightening was weird, not to mention the fact that this party was taking place in the middle of the afternoon, for a reason Swars failed to explain to him, and had just shrugged over earlier when he’d asked her about it in the car. He was visibly taken aback by the surroundings, and she knew it wouldn’t be along till he’d realize something was up.
Giggles were echoing throughout the vast apartment, and they weren’t any kind of giggling, but the kind little girls let out. They were followed only by grunts and groans that only little boys could produce while feigning laser sword battles of some kind.
Don’s eyes immediately flew to Swara’s, and she didn’t have time to react- not that she knew how to, because just then a group of girls came running into the foyer, laughing and being unabashedly loud.
Don’s eyes landed on the one that was wearing a sparkly tiara, and when her eyes went up to his, Swara felt her heart sink as she registered Don’s reaction. It wasn’t often that she saw him dead in his tracks. He looked lost and at loss forwords.
She had to nudge him further,smilingly, to snap him out of it.He immediately got down on one knee as the little girl ran rapidly intohis open arms, hugging him like there was no tomorrow
‘You came!’ she yelled, possibly right into his ear, but Don couldn’t be bothered. He pulled her even closer, if possible, to his chest and held her tight as he got back on both feet and proceeded to spin themselves around, making Maya’ mauve tulle skirt swirl.
Maya was giggling, beyond happy to see him. Don eventually pulled her even higher up in his arms, looking up into her eyes as she kept giggling at him
‘Who’s my birthday girl?’
Swara immediately felt tears roll downher cheek. His voice was strained, heavy with emotion, but he was obviously trying to make it easy for Maya. He hadn’t seen her in months, and he didn’t want to emphasize his absence with an obvious reunion.
He was acting casually, as if he’d kept on seeing her everyday.
Maya was 8 now, she was old enough to know he had obviously not been there, not in the way he’d been a part ofher life for almost 2 years straight. But she was oblivious of all that just then, staring down at her favorite uncle, immensely happy to see him again.
‘I knew you’d come’ she yelled again, ignoring his question, grinning from ear to ear and bending to hug his neck tightly again. Don closed his eyes tight and just buried his face into the little girl’s hair for a few moments.
Swara’s heart ached to see them like that. She knew how close they’d been, but seeing it with her own eyes was a different story altogether. Their bond was incredible.
‘Now put me down, you’re embarrassing me’ she cried, as if suddenly realizing her friends were staring at them, wondering who the strange man was.
‘I don’t care’ he wrinkled his nose at her
‘Since when do you?’She puffed ‘I’m grown up now, Don’
‘Never!’ he widened his eyes
She laughed ‘Yeah I am, and there’s nothing you can do about it’ she stuck her tongue out at him
‘I’m 8 now, practically a lady’
‘Over my dead body’ he retorted, whilst carrying her across the foyer, refusing to put her down
‘What’s with all the boys, anyway? Aren’t they yucky?’She shrugged
‘I guess Brandon is alright’
‘Huh’ he looked at her, perplexed, as if trying to figure out when that had happened.
‘Daddy! Look who’s here!’ she yelled again, positively ecstatic.
Don had been too engulfed in Maya to even notice Sam across the room, and Swara suspected he hadn’t even had time to think about the full picture yet.
Don still refused to put Maya down as Sam made his way towards them. Swara held her breath, and Yana appeared next to her as well,both women feeling the tension build up.Yana hadn’t told Sam that they’d be there, and of course Don hadn’t known he’d be going to Maya’s birthday party. And now they were face to face, with Maya in between.
‘Hello, Don’ Sam said as he reached them, his tone neutral.
‘Karan’ Don replied, holding Maya almost possessively
Sam turned to his daughter, smiling ‘Are you glad Don uncle came?’
‘Thanks, daddy! I knew he’d come if you asked him’ she grinned then turned to Don and kissed his cheek audibly
Don searched Sam’s face for any kind of anger, disgust, apprehension, but nothing like that displayed. If anything, Sam’s smile only deepened
‘She missed you like crazy’ he eventually said
‘I missed her too’ he sighed ‘I love you, kiddo’ he kissed Maya’s cheek in return, placing her back on her feet
‘Go back to your friends, but not too close to that Brandon fellow’ he warned playfully
‘But come play with us’ she said, pulling on his arm
‘I will, I’ll be there in a bit. Run along’
he smiled at her reassuringly Left alone, the two men just stared at each other for a long while, Yana and Swars feeling the tension come up to a boiling point, looking at their men from afar.
‘If you want me to leave, I’ll understand’ Don finally said
‘Maya wouldn’t want that’
‘I know. But you’re the man of the house’
‘When did that ever stop you?’
Don inhaled audibly. Sam was back to his neutral tone and expression, almost like he didn’t give a dam what Don did.Sam stepped back and, surprisingly, gestured for Don to step forward into the house
‘I’m happy you came. Maya really did miss you’
The two women looked at each other, huge relief washing over them. Ok, maybe it wasn’t the fantasy reunion they’d been hoping for, but to be real, the hug and pat on the back would probably have to wait.
But Don didn’t move forward, instead he placed his hand on Sam’s shoulder and said in a serious tone ‘Sam… I’m not proud of what I did. I don’t expect you to believe me, but I really am very sorry. I don’t expect your forgiveness either’
The women were back to holding their breath. They couldn’t believe their eyes when Sam smiled back at Don ‘Did you just call me Sam?’
Don furrowed his brows ‘It’s not been that long, and I’m not that old to forget your name’
Sam turned to Swara and Yana, pointing at Don who was still holding his shoulder
‘He just called me Sam’
They both laughed and exclaimed together
‘I know!’Don’s brows furrowed deeper, narrowing his eyes on the women and then back at Sam
‘There might be some hope for you still, Don’ Sam sighed.
The two men proceeded to walk into what seemed to be Sam’s study.Don took in the surroundings. So far he’d really liked what he’d done with the typical London apartment
‘Nice place you’ve got going on here’Sam raised an eyebrow ‘Are you sure you’re feeling alright?’
Don mirrored his expression but didn’t reply Sam chuckled ‘If I didn’t know better I’d say you were a changed man’ he then proceeded to pour each of them a glass of whiskey, which happened to be Don’s favorite.
Don received his glass and after taking a large sip cleared his throat ‘Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact’
Sam gestured for Don to sit on the other side of his desk ‘Oh, I know all about your resuming your… activities’
Don crossed his legs, staring at the ice cubes dancing around in his crystal glass ‘So what makes you think there’s still hope for me? Or that I’ve changed?Aren’t you going to scold me, tell me how wrong it is to put Swara through all this again?’
‘Sounds like you’ve been doing some serious thinking’ Sam nodded ‘Well, I guess you had to, since I weren’t around to be your voice of conscience’
Don chuckled. Sam had a whole new approach to whatever their bond now was. The old Sam would have never dared confront him, not even subtly, and here he was doing it uninhibitedly
‘I deserve that’ Don replied
‘Oh, don’t worry, I’m not testing my ground around you. I don’t have to’ Sam sat back in his directorial chair, sipping on his whiskey, a major grin plastered on his face in satisfaction
‘How so?’ Don couldn’t help but smile
‘Well, where to start? First off, I’m still alive, and if that doesn’t speak volumes I don’t know what does. You didn’t kill me when you thought I’d fooled around with Swara, so I guess it can’t get any worse than that’ Sam amusedly looked at Don and then exhaled
‘Ease up, I’m not going to dig up the past. Just sayin’. I know you’ve realized you screwed up majorly and I’m the only living soul to know just how much, and you still didn’t kill me just for knowing this embarrassing piece of info about you. So, again, points for me’ he chuckled
‘Why do I sense this list doesn’t end here?’ Don replied, amusedly
Sam shrugged ‘Of course, there’s the fact that you took my kid away from me all because of that embarrassingly huge mistake. You owe me, big time’
Don laughed, the downed his whisky, but Sam went on ‘I basically made sure your wife was doing something about her life. I could get really serious about this,Don, but I’ll keep it casual. Just know that she was in a really dark place, and I have been there for her, whether she wanted my help or not. You owe me some more, right there’
Don shrugged, mirroring his gesture ‘Fair’
‘Let’s see, what else… I never told Maya a single bad word on you, Don. You’re a hero in her eyes, and she loves you, and I couldn’t bare breaking her heart’
Don stood silent at that and Sam exhaled ‘Well. I could go on all day… I could tell you how mad I am about it all, how much Yana and I have suffered due to your ill temper and whatnot, but there’s really no point to it’
Don feigned relief ‘Phew. That was close’
‘Well, now that I’m “Sam” and not “karan”’ Sam began amusedly, placing both feet on his desk
‘I’ll let you know exactly what I think of what you’re doing now, which does have a point’
Don rubbed his eyelids ‘I’d really rather you didn’t’
‘I’ll accept your apology and also the fact that you really want to tell me you love me and what to make it up to me in your big brotherly way—‘
Don laughed ‘You’re serious, aren’t you?’
Sam widened his eyes ‘Oh yeah, dead serious. As I was saying… I’ll let it all go, and bury the hatchet, and on top of all that, I’ll even lend you some brotherly advice of my own, on what I’ve told you does have a point’
‘Let me guess. You want me to quit this nonsense, and go back to just my antique jewelry business and university tenure’
‘Nah’ Sam shrugged
Don was genuinely taken aback ‘No?’
‘You tried that before and we all saw how that turned out. The last think you need right now is a midlife crisis to top it all off’
Don laughed, throwing his head back ‘Is this really happening?’ he muttered to himself
Sam widened his eyes again ‘Oh yeah. Here’s the deal, I get back in, but I’m not working for you. I’m never going back to being Karan. It’s either I’m all in or not at all’
Don leaned in ‘Now why would you want that? Weren’t you the one always telling me not to go back there? Now you want to go back yourself?’
‘Hacking is just not as fun as it used to be, you know? Unless I’m hacking into the DZB again. I’m totally game for that’ Sam raised his glass in salute before downing it
Don narrowed his eyes ‘I may have caused some permanent damage to your brain’
Sam laughed ‘I’m not excluding that possibility. But no,I just miss the old days, I guess. And I might as well throw it in there, I’ve also missed you, you bastard’
Don was staring at Sam in utter shock. Nobody had ever had the guts to ever say anything like that to his face. Well, maybe not apart from Swara. She could get away with pretty much anything. But here was Sam saying it how it was and not batting an eyelid. Don was taken aback by the fact that his instincts weren’t to immediately make Sam feel sorry for all the audacities he’s been serving him ever since he got there, but instead he felt like pulling him into a brotherly embrace.
He felt proud of Sam for sticking to his guns like that. He knew that he’d caused Sam a great deal of pain and hardship and Don was, for once,trying to solve it the proper way. Admitting he was right about it all, and also admitting that Sam had always been afriend.
Don sat up and poured himself some more whiskey. That realization had really taken him by surprise. A friend. Huh. He’d never had one before.He looked up at Sam who was watching him intently. He could tell that, underneath that brave façade, Sam was still slightly worried he’d harm him. He slowly reached out to Sam, who instinctively took a step back, not knowing how to gauge Don’s reaction. Don took another step and took Sam’s crystalglass out of his hand, returning to pour him some whiskey as well.
He then gestured for Sam to come over, giving him his drink and clinking their glasses together, patting Sam’s back, much in the brotherly way he was referring to.
Guyz I’m really sorry…
Actually my exams are going to start…I have to be prepared for it as it is very important…and also eid is also coming so I’m really busy in that…
So I’ll not be able to update my ff from now…cz I will hardly get time to study due lost of work even after my exams I have practicals which will take a whole day…do sorry for that…I’ll be offline for some day…u know I thought to end it here but I know u all will not like it so I’m not doing it…I’ll be offline for dome days…
I know you all understand cz your so sweet I’m not buttering you but it’s true you all are so sweet that u always support me and understand my situation love you all guyz….
And ha Eid- Mubarak don’t know whether I’ll get chance to say it on the day or not.