CHAPTER TWO – CONFIDING IN THE WALLS
It was hours since the sun had risen, it was a new day filled with new possibilities, seagulls flew over the calm white clouds sitting idoly over the luxurious mansions of Beverley Hills for a fresh start at the beach making sounds all the way to wake up the rich lazy bones. Automatic sprinklers came on splashing cold water on the lash green grass on the Mehra mansion’s front yard, the beautiful landscape was designed to treat the eye of the beholder while showing the abundance of money the family had at the same time. The master kitchen was again taken over by the few kitchen staff working hand in hand with the family’s chef preparing breakfast and they couldn’t help themselves but talk about the lady of the house yesterday’s outburst. The maid who had experienced the incident first hand was animatedly narrating the scene to her friends adding bits of her own imagination here and there along the way, few feet away a woman shook his head in disappointment looking at the younger generation. Raphaela was the oldest of the house help in Mehra mansion, she had been with the family for decades, she had started as a nanny and within years she had become a part of the family. She never had children of her own so loved the Mehra kids as her own, she had broke free from a bad marriage and a beating husband and devoted her life to loving and caring for the Mehras. To Raphaela Arjun, Neil and Sam were her dear children, her adorable, mischievous and sometimes rebellious children, she loved them and they loved her that’s why even after the kids had grown up she still remained in service for the family. She was the only domestic help staff that had a room inside the mansion.
She cleared her throat and the staff quickly stopped their gossiping lowering their gazes in shame “why do u do this girls?” she asked in her gentle motherly voice “talking about people behind their back it’s bad manners, and here you are gossiping about your boss” She turned to the girl who Anita had screamed at yesterday “telling lies is even worse Lily”
“but I swear I….” trailed Lily, Raphaela narrowed her blue eyes at her and she stopped “am sorry” she mumbled.
“get back to work” Raphaela said as her slightly grey eyebrows straightened.
They resumed making breakfast but they stopped again hearing a thudding sound coming from above the kitchen ceiling, Raphaela sighed knowing exactly where was that sound coming from “Sam” she muttered and climbed the stairs to Sam’s room. The sound grew as she stepped closer to her room a KEEP CALM AND KNOCK sign hanging on her bedroom door, she twisted the knob and gained entrance in her room that was booming with the loud music.
I got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone
I crashed my car into the bridge, I watched, I let it burn
I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs
I crashed my car into the bridge.
I don’t care, I love it
I don’t care
Sam emerged from her closet sliding on the tile floor as part of her dance, she was wearing pink with white polka dots tights with loose Minnie mouse T-shirt. Her hair was loose flowing left and right when she swayed her head to the song, she took her hair brush holding it close to her mouth with her right hand as a mike and sang along to one of her favourite songs.
You’re on a different road, I’m in Milky Way
Staring at her image on the mirror, she raised her right eyebrow fanning herself with the her left hand
You want me down on earth, but I am up in space
She flipped her long brown hair and swayed her hips according to the tune
You’re so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch.
She did a catwalk and then 360 turn holding her left palm out in the air
You’re from the 70s, but I’m a 90s b*t*h
I love it
I love it
She started jumping whipping her hair back and forth “I got this feeling on…” she stopped midway when the music had stopped abruptly, she turned to the mp3 player and found Raphaela standing next to it with her arms folded over her chest “nanny…” she stressed in an annoying tone “you are killing my vibe” she complained and pouted like a kid slumping on the bed, can’t even have fun in this house.
“you know your mother hates loud noises, why do you want to anger her?”
Mother? Really? Anita Mehra and my mother? God, she must be joking “she is not my mother” Sam said collecting her scattered clothes on the floor. It pained Raphaela to hear her say that, Sam looked at her and saw a thin film of tears forming in her eyes, she sighed “it’s true nanny and you know that” her tone firm and painful at the same time, she turned away showing her back at Raphaela to hide the tears that were now forming in her eyes.
“but baby..” trailed Raphaela.
“am not a kid any more so please…” she snapped her voice a notch higher than her usual, she took a deep breath and blinked her tears away before they fell from her eyes, she turned to her “am sorry I raised my voice at you but am not a kid there is no need to lie to me. I’m just the Mehras charity work and nothing more”
“baby please don’t say that” cried Raphaela.
“of course I shouldn’t, I should be grateful I was adopted by the Mehras” Sam said in a chirpy tone in attempt to change the sad atmosphere that was creeping in her room, she wanted to change Raphaela’s mood. She took a scarf from her pile of clothes and rounded it on her neck, straightened her back a little bit and placed her left hand on her waist “as Mrs. Mehra would say” she started and cleared her throat to mimic Anita’s voice “we picked you up from the filthy gutter and you should be thankful of what we have given you” her voice was cold and hateful just like Anita’s.
Raphaela took her in a tight embrace “you know I love you right?” she said in her soft motherly tone.
“I love you too nanny”
“even your brothers love you so much”
Only Arjun loves me, dad only loves me season to season and Neil…. can’t decipher what he thinks or feel about me, Sam thought and broke the hug “now wipe your tears woman you look like an ogress when crying” she teased. Raphaela wiped her tears and planted a warm kiss on her forehead “you worry too much nanny, am perfectly fine”
“are you sure?” she asked concerned not wanting to leave her alone but Sam wanted to be alone so she could cry her heart out which she didn’t want to do in her presence.
“am fine but I will be better once I have a boyfriend” she said mischievously.
“a boyfriend but you are still in college?”
“that’s why I want to have a boyfriend, all my friends have one expect me”
“Sam…” warned Raphaela.
Sam mentally smiled that she called her by her name instead of baby like she always does, she was getting annoyed and would soon leave her room “and maybe have a threesome”
“Good Lord..!” said Raphaela in shock making the sign of the cross and ran out of her room.
Sam laughed but her laughter was then replaced by her tears, she ran to the bathroom and stood below the shower letting the cold water mix with her hot tears. Why did she have to be adopted into a family that didn’t love her, she never knew how it was like to have a family and she will never know that even after being a part of a family. She was just a show piece, an evidence to the world of how generous the Mehras were, she was given a roof, expensive clothes and shoes to wear, she could get anything she asked for but could never have the only one thing she needed, love. To the world adopting her was an act of love but she never had the feeling that she was loved, they took care of her needs but never made her feel that they cared for her, she was a broken soul. She has been a good student to make them proud but they made her feel that her achievements were worthless, she has been a good daughter to earn their love but they made her feel her attempts were pointless, she has been rebellious to gain their attention but they made her feel she was too insignificant to even be worried about.
She slumped on the wet tile floor, clutching her knees to her chest as she wept inconsolably, but why did she have to remember the past, now it will take her hours before she could compose herself. And her eyes? They will turn red and be all puffed up, how was she going to take selfies with red puffed up eyes, her followers will think she has some eye disease or something what if she becomes unpopular? She quickly got off the floor and looked at herself in the mirror, no she wasn’t going to lose her popularity that she worked so hard for with her social media expertise. And how was she going to grab a boyfriend looking like a sick kitten, she shook her head surprised with her own thoughts, “am crazy sometimes” she thought and went to get ready for college locking her tears inside the four walls, masquerading her pain with a smile like she always does.
The hundreds of employees of Emax were loyal, the company had been running on losses and close to declare bankruptcy but they stuck by the Mehra’s, they believed in them. And now a new ray of hope had emerged in the form of Radhika Raichand so there was no way they would let the ship sink and much less alone. They were working day and night, everyone had chipped in extra hours for the messiah had descended and finally the day had come.
“We need to make sure she signs with us today” Siddarth told his team, he was getting anxious as time went by.
“We won’t let you down dad besides all terms are clear and she is aware of them, she just have to put her signature and that’s it” Arjun assured, he himself had checked everything twice leaving no space for failure.
“Arjun is right Sid” Gerald seconded.
“I don’t why but I can’t help but worry” Siddharth explained.
Neil jumped in patting his dad’s shoulder “why do you worry when you know I have my charms with the females?” he joked making Arjun roll his eyes and the other to laugh “I will take care of Miss Raichand thoroughly”
Gerald couldn’t help but notice the tension in Siddharth’s eyes even though he was smiling, Siddharth was a confident man, he never worried like this “why don’t you boys go check on the preparations while I talk to your dad privately”
What are they trying hide from us? Arjun thought while getting off the chair, he turned to look at them when he reached the door Gerald smiled assuring him that there was nothing to worry about. Neil followed his brother out “so much secrets” he muttered under his breath while walking to the conference room.
Inside Siddharth’s cabin Gerald gave his friend one scrutinizing look “what?” said Siddharth irritably.
“Had those nightmares again?” He stated rather than asked.
Siddharth wondered how his friend was able to read him so easily “am scared G”
Gerald sighed “your guilt is your biggest enemy Sid, but you have done nothing to feel guilty about. In fact you have done more than a friend could ever do, am sure wherever he is, Veer is proud of you”
“I don’t know G but I can’t shake off this fear from my heart”
“It will be alright, once we get the money and save Emax all will be alright” Siddarth nodded and the two friends shifted their attention back on the deal at hand.
The moment they had been waiting for ultimately arrived, Arjun Neil Siddharth and Gerald stood at the entrance to receive their saviour, a black limousine came to a halt before them “she is here” announced Neil excitedly, since his last meeting with her he had been very anticipating to see her again. Flynn got out first “that’s her P.A” Neil whispered to them, then the chauffeur came out and opened the door for his boss.
Radhika stepped out in her pointed nude color heels clad in a white collarless shirt tucked in cream colour Capri pants, her hair tied in a neat ponytail, her diamond stud earrings, her gold wrist watch all reflected that money was no problem to her, she looked like she came out straight from a Vogue magazine page. She took off her big sunglasses and with the attitude she looked at them they all knew that she means no games. “she is hot” commented Siddharth earning himself glares from Neil and Gerald. He shrugged “am just stating the obvious”
Arjun could not believe his eyes, he wondered if he was dreaming or he was plain lucky. They were the same eyes, the same black eyes that had captivated him three weeks ago. “it’s her” his mind screamed, he never had his wishes granted like that before. He recalled the first time he saw her, sitting at the beach staring at the sunset her hair floating in the wind and when she turned to look at the side he was in, those eyes took his breath away. He was so engrossed in his own thoughts that he failed to notice another car that had pulled up behind the limousine or the man who had stepped out of it, when Neil nudged him with his elbow and he broke out of the chains of thoughts he found her standing before him forwarding her hand to him for a handshake “hi am Arjun” he finally spoke shaking her hand.
“Radhika Raichand” she introduced herself then pointing to Flynn “my P.A. Flynn” she then turned to her right where a man who was probably the same age as Siddharth and Gerald stood and spoke “my lawyer Mr. Khanna”
After the brief introductions they went to the conference room where one more man who was the legal adviser of Emax joined them. Siddharth took charge of the meeting explaining for the second time what the deal would offer each of them “if we are all on the same page then let’s sign the contract”
“we are not on the same page” Radhika objected, she looked at her lawyer and as if on cue he took out folders from his bag and distributed among the men “gentlemen, in your hands is the contract you sent me with tiny bits of modifications”
“what kind of modifications?” asked Neil opening the folder.
“for starters am not happy with the percentage you offered me” she answered.
“but we are giving you 10% acquisition?” said Gerald perplexed.
“and I want forty” she told them casually.
There was a minute of silence or rather of shock when they heard her say that “40% are you crazy?” snapped Siddharth.
Gerald touched Siddharth’s hand to hold him down “we can talk about this” he looked at Radhika waiting for her reply and she nodded giving her approval “40% is too aggressive miss Raichand and besides we had already agreed on 10% then why change it now”
Radhika crossed her left leg over her right “well first of all, that agreement was a week ago but your market value had dropped terribly since then… Second, with the way things are going am sure in one month you will declare bankruptcy and I will be glad to buy your entire company then and for much less…. In short, you are broke and you need me but you can only have my money if you give me 40% of the company”
“you are right” Arjun said after much deliberation of the situation earning the attention “yes we are broke, whatever you said is correct but still 40% is too much”
“its not like am asking for fifty” she replied still holding her stance.
“we can give you twenty” Arjun gave back still adamant to not let the reigns go, he might be a man of few words but when it came to business he was a shark.
She smiled admiring his courage “thirty five”
“twenty five, let’s make it final”
“thirty, and that’s final” every head was taking turns from looking at Arjun and then at Radhika, Arjun to Radhika. Flynn smiled seeing Arjun’s determination, none has ever been able to talk back to his boss like he did and got away with it, as far as he understood Radhika’s word was law.
“I know you need time to think so I will give you…. thirty minutes” she said and left the room with Flynn and her lawyer tailing behind.
“am not giving that woman shit, what does she think of herself?” said Siddharth irritated.
“I think Arjun managed the situation just fine, we need her so we will have to give her the percentage she is asking for” Gerald explained.
“She needs our skills to run this business, we have years of experience in this field of work which she will never get if she were to buy us after we go bankrupt like she threatened” Siddharth told them “she needs us as much as we need her”
“we need her more dad” Neil chimed in “besides according to this contract the final decision will be ours…. As you said we have the skills, experience and the majority shares of the company so the ball is still in our court”
“Neil is right dad” Arjun supported making Siddharth calm down and think calmly over his decision.
Meanwhile in the waiting area Radhika was busy swiping her phone without a hint of worry on her face, Flynn observed her for sometime and broke the silence “if you don’t mind me asking ma’am why don’t we just wait till they declare bankruptcy and buy the whole company?”
Radhika smiled, she loved when Flynn addressed her empire as theirs that assured her of his loyalty “I just think, that will be no fun” Flynn nodded, why did he even ask when he knew she would never give any straight answers, but her reply made him think if he knew his boss as much as he thought he did then there is surely more to this story than what she was trying to project, but only God knows what.
The afternoon mass had ended, the people of God slowly dispersed to return to their daily activities. Anita descened the stairs of St. Joseph’s Cathedral putting on her sunglasses, L.A’s sun can be merciless. She walked to the parking lot and was going to get into her car when a voice stopped her “so what sins did you come to ask forgiveness for?” came a female voice from behind her.
She smiled turning to the woman “I asked God to forgive me for pretending to like you Becky” Rebecca Flores or Becky as known to many was Anita’s friend, well friends to the world and foe at heart. The two had known each other since pre-school and were now neighbors but have been competing with one another since they met. If Anita bought a car then Becky will buy a much expensive car and if Becky moved into a mansion then Anita will move her family into a much bigger mansion with more square footage, this had been going on for ages.
“Oh, you have got to do more than pray, God doesn’t forgive fakeness so easily and you have fakeness all over you”
She laughed “thinking of being a comedian, then don’t you will fail like always”
“Hey girls” came two other females Marilyn and lvana, the four of them were the Hollywood’s posh wives, driving expensive cars and wearing designer clothes and doing charity work to flaunt to the world about their wealth and perfect families was their number one hobby.
“Did you see what car Cece gifted her daughter on her sweet sixteen?” Ivana said “that new Skoda superb, like really giving a sixteen year old that kind of cheap junk” she said as if it was not a tens of thousands of dollars worth of a car but a used wooden wagon.
“You are thinking about money, have u seen the amount of space that car has…? That car is like a mobile s*x box, I will not be surprised if she became pregnant before her 18th birthday” Becky added enthusiastically making Anita roll her eyes.
“So what were you two talking?” asked Marilyn not wanting to discuss her friend Cece.
“Nothing much, dear Becky here was joking about being fake” Anita taunted.
“I was just showing you the mirror” Becky retorted.
“At least am not the one living with an alcoholic husband and sleeping with my gardener” Anita stroke back.
“A woman got needs and I have the guts to do what makes me happy unlike you who pretends to be happy”
“Becky… ” Ivana warned she knew how things can get out of hand if they don’t intervene soon enough.
“Am just speaking the truth, yes my husband drinks but he never cheated on me and brought his bastard children home” Becky sneered.
“Becky that’s enough” Marilyn intervened.
“Why are you not telling her anything, she can air my dirty laundery out in the open and I can’t be do the same?” Becky was angry. She turned to Anita “you can pretend to be happy, you can pretend to love those bastard kids but you can’t fool me, I know you all too well. And you can do as much charity work as you want, you can pray every single day but you can never find the peace you are looking for”
“At least have respect for the house of God” Marilyn pleaded.
“I do respect the Church that’s why I didn’t say much” said Becky.
“That’s enough, let’s get out of here” said Marilyn and both Ivana and she walked to their cars, Becky also left soon after that leaving Anita alone.
Anita got into her car and wiped the tears that her sunglasses couldn’t hide anymore, yes she was unhappy and yes she was pretending to have a perfect family but nobody had the right to rub salt on her wounds like that and much less someone like Becky, besides the truth was far from what Becky thought. Her phone rang taking her out of her thoughts, it was her husband “how did it go?” she asked the minute she answered the phone.
“She signed the contract but for thirty percent”
“Thirty? But that’s a lot Sid”
“We didn’t have a choice”
“Of course you had a choice, you had a choice to refuse her but am sure your son Arjun convinced you to do it because you can never say no to him, right?”
“Look, I didn’t call you so that we can argue and I am the one who is handling the business so leave these matters to me”
“So then why did you call?”
“I have invited miss Raichand for dinner, G and his daughter are also going to join us so do the necessary”
“And you think that will help your business” she taunted saying the word “your” sarcastically.
“It will help all of us, because if you want to roam around in your expensive cars and designer clothes then we need to win her trust, so do what I say. Okay”
“Whatever” she muttered and ended the call.
Like anything else in the Mehra Mansion dinner was ought to be elegant, the fine silverware was brought out and set on the dining table covered with the best linen. Fresh flowers were placed around every corner of the house and one of L.A’s best chef was brought in for the night for an exquisite menu. Anita had instructed the help on what to do and what not to do and if they knew their boss mistakes were not an option.
Dressed in a buff designer one shoulder dress Anita descended the spiral staircase fixing her Pearl earrings that matched with her dress “everything ready?” asked Siddharth when she had reach the bottom of the stairs, Siddharth himself was wearing a suit with no tie.
“You know I always get everything ready” she replied.
“Even am ready” said Neil wearing jeans and T-shirt, of course he was ready to sweep miss Raichand off her feet with his charm. Anita fumed seeing him dressed like that and asked him to go change, Neil glanced at Arjun standing a few feet behind them wearing a long sleeved v-neck T-shirt over his jeans and whined “why aren’t you telling Arjun to change?”
Anita looked at Arjun and then back at Neil “he is not my son but you are so go change” Does she really have to remind us that all the time, he thought.
“Mom… ” he dragged.
“I said go change” she shouted and he retreated back to his bedroom to change. Siddharth shook his head disappointed at her behaviour but she just shrugged and went about doing touch ups for the dinner.
The first guests arrived and it was Gerald and his daughter Maya, Maya junior to be precise, Gerald had named her after her deceased Indian mother who died while giving birth to her. And Maya was a replica of her mother, black curly hair, big brown eyes and thin pink lips, she was the pride and joy of Gerald. “Oh My God, look how big you have grown” exclaimed Siddharth taking her into a warm hug “you look more and more like your mother everyday” he added.
Maya smiled coyly “thanks Sid uncle” she greeted Anita who complimented her on her choice of outfit, Gerald was smiling throughout hearing praises for his daughter, he couldn’t be more proud “where is Sam?” she asked. Sam and Maya were the best of friends, they were of the same age and loved each other more than friends, they were soul sisters. They were each other’s support systems, Maya was among the few people that made living bearable for Sam.
“am right here sugar” Sam said in a deep voice imitating one their lecturer that made Maya laugh hard when Siddharth asked what was so funny she replied saying that it was an inside joke that only she and Maya can understand.
“what are you wearing?” asked Anita seeing her in grey plaid sweater and pink bell shaped skirt paired with pink flats “didn’t you get the memo?” Sam glanced at her outfit and shrugged, like she was going to take fashion advice from her “this is a formal dinner and what’s formal about that garbage you are wearing?” she gritted.
Before Sam could reply Raphaela came in announcing the arrival of the guest of honour, Radhika in a green short sleeved dress hugging her body walked in to the living room where everyone had gathered “good evening” she greeted them.
Siddharth introduced everyone to her and she politely smiled to all of them “and this is miss Raichand” he finished introducing her to the family.
“call me Radhika” she told him.
“Hi Radhika” chirped Sam extending her hand and Radhika shook it smiling “wow what a beautiful bracelet” she said looking at the diamond and emerald bracelet Radhika had on her left wrist.
“it’s custom made” she said proudly. Anita rolled her eyes, was it necessary to flaunt her wealth on our faces.
“custom made, Oh Wow” Sam exclaimed.
“you like it?”
“Like? I love it”
Radhika took the bracelet off her wrist and forwarded it to her “take it” they all looked at her flabbergasted, had she gone crazy or what, who gives her millions of dollars worth of bracelet away just like that but that was Radhika Raichand, none knew what she thought or why she did what she did “come on take it”
“No… No…. Its too expensive, I cant take it”
Radhika held Sam’s right wrist and tied the bracelet on her “it’s my gift to you”
“thanks” Sam replied still not believing what had just happened, she quickly took her phone out taking pictures of herself with the bracelet with Maya’s help.
“Give it back Sam” Anita said “I don’t think it goes well with whatever you are wearing” she said in disgust
Radhika glanced at Sam’s outfit and looked at Anita “I believe in trend-setters and not trend followers” she turned back to Sam “I love this funky trend you have got going on here” Sam smiled, finally someone who spoke her language, someone who can make Anita Mehra shut her mouth.
Anitha was livid, how dare a girl like Radhika talk back to her and that to in front of her family, if she wasn’t the investor then she would have surely banged the flower vase on her head before throwing her out of her mansion “Shall we proceed to dinner?” Siddharth decided to break the awkward silence among them after what felt like an eternity.
Dinner started off well with the menu Chef Marcus had prepared for them, the food was mouthwatering and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. Neil who had changed into a formal shirt cleared his throat to gather attention of the people around the table “So Radhika tell us a bit about yourself” Arjun looked on intently Neil had asked exactly what he wanted to ask her.
“what do you want to know?”
Neil gave her his best charming smile “from which heaven did you descend?”
She smiled “I don’t think heaven can afford me”
Neil’s jaw dropped, she had gone back to be the same girl who had him question his ability to charm the females a week ago, Sam burst into laughter “that’s a good one” she commented laughing earning herself a glare from Anita “you must teach me some of that” she added purposely to anger Anita challenging her that she might learn to answer back to her.
“You should have seen her in the office today, this girl is a predator” remarked Siddharth.
“How long have you been in the business” asked Maya.
“ten, eleven years” Radhika answered.
“ten, eleven years? But you are so young” said Gerald.
“I took over the business when I was fifteen or sixteen, my dad went into a depression after my mom’s death so as the only eligible Raichand at that time I had to step up and take the responsibility”
“you started working when you was fifteen?” asked Neil in shock, he was one didn’t join his family business until Arjun threatened to have his credit cards seized “that’s… that’s…” he stammered.
“Admirable” said Arjun who had been quite all this time, Radhika smiled at him gratefully and he smiled back.
“so it’s only you and your dad?” asked Maya looking at her father smiling.
“I have a younger brother Ranveer, but he doesn’t like me to call him that he was to be called Veer” Siddharth choked on his food right at that moment and began to cough uncontrollably, Anita quickly passed him a glass of water while rubbing his back to soothe him “are you okay?” Radhika asked when he had calmed down and he nodded in assurance.
“are you sure?” Neil insisted “it seemed as if you choked when you heard the name Veer” he teased to lighten the mood.
“Neil…” Anita warned and he shrugged in return, can’t even joke in his house, he thought.
The rest of the dinner went by quietly, after dinner they gathered in the living room for coffee talking about business and other things, Sam and Maya were in Sam’s bedroom talking girls stuff.
Arjun like most of the time that night kept silent but his eyes never left Radhika. He leisurely took his time feeding on her features, her eyes that twinkle with something unknown, those black orbs that told him everything yet he understood nothing or the way her brows twitched when she talked about business. The way she would scratch her nose with her left index finger when she wanted to avoid talking about something, her lips that would jut out when she disagreed about something or the way they would curl up into a smile that was neither seductive nor friendly. She was captivating and intriguing at the same time and he couldn’t get enough of her. And when she her gaze suddenly shifted to him he would quickly avert his eyes and look away only to turn back to her and watch her all over again when she wasn’t looking at him.
Gerald and Siddharth were discussing about the upcoming steps they needed to take to revive the company when Siddharth accidently spilled coffee on himself, Anita immediately rushed to his assistance making sure that he hadn’t hurt himself “am fine” he said a bit irritated when she was continuously asking if he was okay. He leaned in her ear and whispered “stop this drama or people may start to think that you actually care about someone else other than yourself”
Anita took a step back looking unaffected by his words“get a room you two” Neil joked causing everyone to laugh, Anita took her seat back and Siddharth went to the bathroom to clean his shirt.
Maya was walking back to the living room when suddenly somebody grabbed her hand pulling her to a corner, a hand covered her mouth so that she couldn’t scream, when she finally saw the face of her attacker she sighed of relief “you scared me Mr. Mehra” she spoke when the hand was removed from her mouth.
“Oh! So now am Mr. Mehra… And what did you call me earlier, huh?…. Uncle?”
She smiled fixing her dress “then what did you want me to say…. Sid darling?” Siddharth wrapped his hand around her waist pulling her close “and what did you say, that I have grown big?” she teased.
“you have changed since the last time we were together”
Maya wrapped her hands around his neck “Dad told me you had work related stress and I didn’t want you to die on me in bed”
“you know exactly what to say to drive me mad” She smirked hearing that “tomorrow at the usual place” he told her and she agreed “now give me a kiss like a good girl”
“but am your bad girl” she teased, pecked his lips quickly and parted before anyone caught them.
The night came to an end and Neil offered to walk Radhika till her car, he was waiting the whole night to get some alone time with her so he could make his move “you know I didn’t like how strict you were at the office today, I thought we were friends” he threw the bait wanting to find out if she considered him a friend too.
“Going out for drinks doesn’t make us friends” Ouch! That hurt.
“So you drink with strangers?” let’s see if you have the answer to that, he thought.
“I dine with my enemies too” She said with a straight face.
Neil was startled and quiet for a second but decided to take her words lightly “nice joke” he chuckled.
“and even if we were friends, then you should know that I don’t mix business…. With friendship” Would it kill her if she said pleasure, he asked himself.
Neil forwarded his hands “friends” she smiled and shook his hand “but you should know I only befriend the people I like” he smiled his signature one.
“same here” she replied making him smile even broadly. “I also believe you should keep your friends close and enemies even closer” she added and Neil laughed complementing her sense of humour.
Merry Christmas Everyone