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Aspiring Author

Indian Rendezvous
-by Poonam Dabbas

Aryan had just settled down in the luxuriously comfortable armchair in his hotel suite. Coming back to India after years of working as the scion of the family designer garments chain in New York looked as if it was going to be a great experience. He revelled in the warmth and hospitality shown by the hotel staff and looked forward to his business meetings in the coming days. The shining gold knob of the bathroom door moved suddenly and a soft click later, Aryan found himself staring at, he had to admit grudgingly, the most seductive apparition he had ever beheld in his twenty nine years. He was overpowered by the heady fragrance of fresh roses that wafted from the open door, his mind visualising tantalising thoughts of the bathing beauty who now stood before him, wrapped in a soft, white towel.

She stood still, her beautiful brown eyes widening with shock. In her confusion, she took a few steps towards the door, but tripped and landed in Aryans lap. He put his arm around her shoulder to prevent her from falling to the floor.

Finally she uttered a few words of disbelief.

“What are you doing here? Let me go.”

“I should be asking you how you took the liberty of pampering yourself in my bath. Or are you the most delightful surprise gift, courtesy the hotel? I must admit they have done a wonderful job.”

He raised a thick, dark, well shaped eyebrow and looked down at the doe eyed beauty in his lap. All his experience of proximity with stylish, beautiful women could not give him immunity to her innocent charms. He felt electrified with sheer physical desire and took in her dewy soft magnolia skin, two incredibly sexy black beauty spots-one above her lip and the other on her cheek, her large doe eyes, still wide with shock and her luxuriant, wavy dark brown hair tied in a top knot. Tendrils escaped to caress her forehead, making her irresistibly desirable to him-Aryan who had the reputation of being a stone hearted businessman, who had not yet shown any inclination to explore matters related to the heart. A driving ambition to be the best in the industry possessed him and women seemingly had no place in his life. But that was till now. At this moment he seemed not to have heard her request to release her and was trying to conquer his irresistible desire to kiss her full, soft mouth. Suddenly he put her down with gentleness unexpected from so large a man. Then he stood up. He was tall, more than six feet and incredibly handsome. She reluctantly admired his distinguished looks, chiselled features with high cheek bones and felt colour rising to her cheeks when she met his eyes, full of undisguised desire.

“Leave the room at once! I want an explanation for this”.

She started to move towards the phone when he drawled in his deep baritone.

“Surely you don’t want the hotel staff gossiping about you by presenting yourself in this state of err… undress, enchanting as you look.”

He looked at her, noticing the soft white rise of her full breasts and her shapely legs. A heady desire to embrace her and smother her with kisses overpowered him. She turned away towards the bath realising the inadequacy of her dress. The audacity of the man- ordering her about after intruding in her own hotel room. Yet she had to concede that he was the most handsome man she had ever seen. And cultured too. Whatever the case may be, men were the last thing on her mind right now. She was here for a wonderful career opportunity as a model for an exclusive garment chain in America and she needed to present herself as the very best. Fuming at this unnecessary interruption, she quickly changed and emerged to find him engaged on the phone demanding an explanation for the room muddle up. Her sherry brown eyes sparkled with anger.

“Well, I admire your guts Mr… You barge into my room and demand an explanation. Your misplaced confidence is admirable.”

Within seconds a profusely apologetic hotel manager came in after a discreet knock and expressed his deep regret to Mr. Aryan, who was in the right room, it was Miss Jasmine who had been given the duplicate key to the same room by mistake. Aryan hardly bothered about the apologies. It was her name that immediately registered in his mind. Jasmine- how apt. She was ethereal, with her porcelain skin and delicate features. He was jolted to the reality with a sudden explosion of outrage from her.

“You should be apologising to me. I emerged from the bath to find this man sitting comfortably in my room! I want an explanation at once.”

The manager turned towards her, repeating his most humble apologies and offered to carry her luggage personally to her room. She flounced out of the room with a toss of her swan like neck while Aryan stood watching, a bemused smile on his mouth.

She wondered why she felt that twinge of regret as she settled down in her rightful room. Trying hopelessly to put away thoughts of him, she had to admit that he was the most attractive man she had ever come across. Putting him out of her mind wasn’t going to be easy. She tried to concentrate on the evening’s audition and selection of models. Suddenly her mind struck a chord-Aryan- could he be the owner of the garment chain she was going to audition for?

The next few hours were spent concentrating on the auditions. While she was helped to dress for the big event that was to take place within a few hours, she couldn’t deny a new emotion that constantly nagged at her, a delicious agony, a passionate waiting for the time when she would see him again. But would she? She had confirmed that he was indeed the Aryan she would perhaps be working for but would he even notice her presence? Wouldn’t she be just another pretty face amongst scores of others? Ah! Well how did it matter to her? It must be just a passing fancy. He was not her kind .Too arrogantly aware of his riches, power and charm.

The auditions were beyond her expectations. She floated on the catwalk in her gossamer gown of pristine white lace, the low neck enhancing her cleavage to an unfair advantage and a delicate diamond necklace adorning her beautiful neck. Her selection as the global face for Aryan International had her in a tizzy. She tried to control her wildly beating heart as she tried to walk gracefully towards Aryan who had been invited to the stage to present a bouquet to her. She chided herself for such adolescent behaviour and went up to him to accept the honour without betraying her emotions. His demeanour was flawlessly professional as he handed her the bouquet and kissed her formally on her cheek.

The rest of the evening was a dream, people congratulating her, admiring her look and she had no opportunity to confront Aryan for whom she was doubtless just another of the numerous beautiful women he knew. But why did her thoughts invariably come back to Aryan? Had she not decided to reach the top rung in her career? Men were not an important part of her life. In the modelling world she had come across men who regarded her as a dumb beauty and she was determined to prove them wrong. Across the room she saw a beautiful young woman clinging to Aryans arm and talking animatedly to him. He seemed to be indulgent and all attention to her. Jasmine felt an inexplicable disappointment in her heart as she struggled to be attentive to Raj, the Executive Director, who was telling her of the hectic schedules and immediate relocation to US that was to follow. She busied herself with the numerous arrangements that would have to be made. And that included convincing her overprotective parents that their youngest child was now twenty and quite capable of looking after herself.

She dressed carefully for the evening party thrown by Aryan International. A sheer black net sari with a tiny backless blouse exposed her hour glass figure and flawless skin to an advantage. Her hair tied in a top knot; she seemed to be the artist’s inspiration for the tempting seductress depicted in Indian paintings. Satisfied with her appearance, she went down to the car sent for her.

Raj greeted her, took her hand, a little too warmly it seemed to her and complimented her profusely on her stunning appearance. His attentions to her went beyond the scope of his duties and his flirtatious ways bordered on the outrageous. Jasmine, least flattered by his attentions, coldly excused herself on the pretext of going to the rest rooms. Raj’s unwanted flattery had irritated her coming at a time when she wanted to bask in her success.

A valet came towards her with the message that Mr Aryan wished to see her immediately. Could he escort her to his room? Wondering if the aloof Mr Aryan was going to bestow similar attentions, she determined to make it clear that this was not going to be a part of the deal. She found him sitting with a serious look on his face. He asked her to take a seat; rather curtly she thought and wondered what was coming. “Miss Jasmine, let me come to the point immediately. You realise that you will be representing one of the foremost garment chains in New York! I expect a certain degree of maturity and propriety of behaviour from you. At no cost can I have the impeccable image of my company tarnished.”

She was shocked at this accusation. Resentment and anger welled inside her. The high handed arrogance of the man! Just who did he think he was? Her eyes flashed and her face reddened at the slight.

“Can you explain what you mean Mr Aryan?”

“I am sure you are not such a kid as to be unaware that your demeanour with Mr Raj was rather repulsive. Jasmine couldn’t contain herself any more.

“Mr Aryan .I certainly did not expect a man of your stature, understanding and repute to behave in such a manner. Surely you realise that the indiscretions were all on Mr Raj’s part and extremely distasteful to me? And if this is a prelude of the kind of treatment I am going to get, I will have to decline the offer I am afraid.”

Aryan looked at her carefully. He had not expected such a spirited reply. She got up as if to leave and he instinctively went around to say what he knew was the truth behind the outburst. He had watched her all evening and found every curve revealed by this tantalising garment seductive. He had longed to touch that velvet skin, to kiss the nape of her beautiful neck. He had been insanely jealous of the other man. He knew it was now or never.

He gently put his arms around her. Her anger simply melted in his arms. She was conscious of an overwhelming desire to remain in the strong, protective embrace. He kissed her, first tenderly then urgently, with inflamed passion. She responded by snuggling against him, her soft curves melting into his hard body.

Mastering his strong desire of never letting her go, he pulled away from her. “I have another offer if you wish to take it. Will you be my bathing beauty, my complimentary gift from India which I always want to keep?”

With these words he went down on his knees, took her small white hand and smothered it with passionate kisses.

“Yes Aryan, yes.”

He rose to his full height, towering above her slight frame and both held each other tightly, as if they would never let go.

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