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Mayur FF - The Love Gamble Epilogue- 16/8/10 (Page 4)

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aastu

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aastu

Joined: 03 May 2010

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Posted: 25 July 2010 at 9:24am | IP Logged

Chapter One

Once upon a time, Nupur Bhushan thought as she stood in the middle of a loud yuppie bar, the world was full of good men. She looked into the handsome face of the man she'd planned on taking to her sister's wedding and thought, Those days are gone.

A-"This relationship is not working for me," Aditya said. I could shove this swizzle stick through his heart, Nupur thought. She wouldn't do it, of course. The stick was plastic and not nearly pointed enough on the end. "And we both know why," he went on. He probably didn't even know she was mad; he probably thought she was being calm and adult. At least I know I'm furious, Nupur thought. She let her anger steed around her, and it made her warm all over, which was more than Aditya had ever done. Across the room, somebody at the big roulette wheel-shaped bar rang a bell. Another point against Nupur: He was dumping her in a theme bar. The Long Shot. The name alone should have tipped her off.

A-"I'm sorry, Nupur," he said, clearly not.

Nupur crossed her arms over her gray-checked suit jacket so she couldn't smack him.

N-"This is because I won't go home with you tonight? It's Wednesday. I have to work tomorrow. You have to work tomorrow. I paid for my own drink."

A-"It's not that." Aditya looked noble and wounded as only the tall, dark, and self-righteous could. "You're not making any effort to make our relationship work, which means ..." Which means we've been dating for two months and I still won't make out with you. Nupur tuned him out and looked around at the babbling crowd. If I had an untraceable poison, I could drop it in his drink now and not one of these suits would notice.

A-"... and I do think, if we have any future, that you should contribute, too," Aditya said.Oh, I don 't, Nupur thought, which meant that Aditya had a point. Still, lack of sex was no excuse for dumping her three weeks before she had to wear a lehnga that made her look like a fat, demented village girl.

N-"Of course we have a future, Aditya," she said, trying to put her anger on ice. "We have plans. Aarti is getting married in three weeks. You're invited to the wedding, the cocktail dinner and to the bachelor party. Aditya."

A-"Is that all you think of me?" Aditya's voice went up. "I'm just a date to your sister's wedding?"

N-"Of course not," Nupur said. "Just as I'm sure I'm more to you than somebody to make out with." Aditya opened his mouth and closed it again.

A-"Well, of course. I don't want you to think this is a reflection on you. You're intelligent, you're successful, you're mature. . . ." Nupur listened, knowing that You're beautiful, you're sexy were not coming. If only he'd have a heart attack. Only four percent of heart attacks in men happened before forty, but it could happen. And if he died, not even her mother could expect her to bring him to the wedding.

A-"... and you'd make a wonderful mother," Aditya finished up.

N-"Thank you. That's so not romantic."

A-"I thought we were going places, Nupur," he said.

N-"Yeah," looking around the gaudy bar. "Like here." Aditya sighed and took her hand.

A- "I wish you the best, Nupur. Let's keep in touch." Nupur took her hand back.

N-"You're not feeling any pain in your left arm, are you?"

A-"No," he said, frowning at her.

N-"Pity," said, and went back to her friends, who were watching them from the far end of the room.

D -"He was looking even more uptight than usual," Dia said, looking sexier and hotter than usual as she leaned on the jukebox, the highlights of her hair dancing under the lights. Aditya wouldn't have treated Dia so callously. He'd have been afraid to; she'd have dismembered him. Gotta be more like Dia, Nupur thought and started to flip through the song cards on the box.

G-"Are you upset with him?" Gunjan said from Nupur's other side, her face tilted up in concern. Aditya wouldn't have left Gunjan, either. Nobody was mean to sweet, little Gunjan.

N-"Yes. He dumped me." Nupur stopped flipping. Wonder of wonders, the box had Elvis. Immediately, the bar seemed a better place. When she was small her granddad loved listening to Elvis...she loved the time she spent with him and thus ended up falling in love with Elvis. She fed in coins and then punched the keys for "Hound Dog." Too bad Elvis had never recorded one called "D**khead."

G-"I knew I didn't like him," Gunjan said.

Nupur went over to the roulette bar and smiled tightly at the slender bartender dressed like a croupier. She had beautiful long, soft, funky brown hair, and Nupur thought, That's another reason I couldn't let my hair down and have fun with Aditya. Her hair always messed up when she let it down, and he was the type who would have noticed.

N-"Rum and Coke, please," she told the bartender.

Maybe that was why Dia and Gunjan never had man trouble: great hair. She looked at Dia, racehorse-thin in purple zippered leather, shaking her head at Aditya with naked contempt. Okay, it wasn't just the hair. If she jammed herself into Dia's dress, she'd look like a s**t. "Diet Coke," she told the bartender. I definitely wasn't fat but I also definitely didn't have a body of a model, tall, willowy, size zero which seemed in everybody's priority list recently.

G-"He wasn't the one," Gunjan said her hands on her tiny hips.

N-"Diet rum, too," Nupur told the bartender, who smiled at her and went to get her drink. Dia frowned.

D-"Why were you dating him anyway?"

N-"Because I thought he might be the one," Nupur said, exasperated. "He was intelligent and successful and very nice at first. He seemed like a sensible choice. And then all of sudden he went snotty on me." Gunjan patted her arm.

G-"It's a good thing he broke up with you because now you're free for when the right man finds you. Your prince is on his way."

N-"Right," Nupur said. "I'm sure he was on his way but a truck hit him."

G-"That's not how it works." she leaned on the bar, looking like a hot fairy. "If it's meant to be, he'll make it. No matter how many things go wrong, he'll come to you and you'll be together forever."

D-"What is this?" Dia said, looking at her in disbelief. "Barbie's Field of Dreams?"

N-"That's sweet, Gunjan. But as far as I'm concerned, the last good man died when Elvis went."

D-"Maybe we should rethink keeping Gunji as our broker," Dia said to Nups. "We could be major stockholders in the Magic. Kingdom by now." Nupur tapped her fingers on the bar, trying to vent some tension.

N- "I should have known Aditya was a mistake when I couldn't bring myself to get intimate with him. We were on our third date, and the waiter brought the dessert menu, and Aditya said, 'No, thank you, we're on a diet,' and of course, he isn't because there's not an ounce of fat on him, and I thought, 'I'm not letting you touch me' and I paid my half of the check and went home early. And after that, whenever he made his move, I thought of the waiter and pushed him away."

G-"He wasn't the one," Gunjan said with conviction.

N-"You think?" she said, and Gunjan looked wounded. She closed her eyes. "Sorry. Sorry. Really sorry. It's just not a good time for that stuff, Gunji. I'm mad. I want to savage somebody, not look to the horizon for the next jerk who's coming my way."

G-"Sure. I understand." Dia shook her head.

D-"Look, you didn't care about Aditya, so you haven't lost anything except a date to Aarti's wedding. And I vote we skip the wedding. It has 'disaster' written all over it, even without the fact that she's marrying her best friend's boyfriend."

N-"Her best friend's ex-boyfriend. And I can't skip it. I'm her sister." Nupur gritted her teeth. "It's going to be hell. It's not just that I'm single, which fulfills every prophecy my mother has ever made, it's that she's crazy about Aditya."

G-"We know"

N-"She tells everybody about Aditya," Nupur said, thinking of her mother's avid little face. "Dating Aditya is the only thing I've done that she's liked about me in a long time. And now I have no Aditya." She took her diet rum from the bartender, said, "Thank you," and tipped her lavishly. There wasn't enough gratitude in the world for a server who kept the drinks coming at a time like this. "Most of the time it doesn't matter what my mother thinks of me because I can avoid her, but for the wedding? No."

G-"So you'll find another date," Gunji said.

D-"No, she won't," Dia said.

N-"Oh, thank you" nupur said, turning away from the over-designed bar. The roulette pattern was making her dizzy. Or maybe that was the rage.

D-"Well, it's your own fault," Dia said. "If you'd quit assigning statistical probability to the fate of a union with every guy you meet and just go out with somebody who you are attracted to, you might have a good time now and then."

N-"I'd be a puddle of damaged ego. There's nothing wrong with dating sensibly. That's how I found Aditya." Too late, she realized that wasn't evidence in her favor and knocked back some of her drink to ward off comments. Dia wasn't listening.

D-"We'll have to find a guy for you." She began to scan the bar, which was only fair since most of the bar had been scanning her. "Not him. Not him. Not him. Nope. Nope. Nope. All these guys would try to sell you mutual funds." Then she straightened. "Hello. We have a winner." Gunjan followed her eyes.

G-"Who? Where?"

D-"The dark-haired guy in the navy blue suit. In the middle on the landing up by the door."

N-"Middle?" Nupur squinted at the raised landing at the entry to the bar. It was wide enough for a row of faux poker tables, and four men were at one talking to a girl in red. One of the four was Aditya, now surveying his domain over the dice-studded wrought-iron rail. The landing was only about five feet higher than the rest of the room, but Aditya contrived to make it look like a balcony. It was probably requiring all his self-control to keep from doing the queen wave. "That's Aditya," nupur said, turning away. "And some girl. Good God, he's dating somebody else already." Get out now, she told the girl silently.

D-"Forget the girl. Look at the guy in the middle. Wait a minute, he'll turn back this way again. He doesn't seem to be finding Aditya that interesting."

Nupur squinted back at the entry again. The navy suit was taller than Aditya, and his hair was darker and thicker, but otherwise, from behind, he was pretty much Aditya II.

N-"I did that movie," she said and then he turned. Dark eyes, strong cheekbones, classic chin, broad shoulders, chiseled everything, and all of it at ease as he stared out over the bar, ignoring Aditya, who suddenly looked a little inbred. Nupur sucked in her breath as every cell she had came alive and whispered, This one. Then she turned away before anybody caught her slack-jawed with admiration. He was not the one, that was her DNA talking, looking for a high-class sperm donor. Every woman in the room with a working ovary probably looked at him and thought, This one. Well, biology was not destiny. The amount of damage somebody that beautiful could do to a woman like her was too much to contemplate. She took another drink to cushion the thought, and said, "He's pretty."

D-"No. That's the point. He's not pretty. Aditya is pretty. That guy looks like an adult."

N-"Okay, he's full of testosterone,"

D-"No, that's the guy on his right. The one with the head like a bullet. I bet that one talks sports and slaps people on the back. The navy suit looks civilized with edge. Tell her, Gunjan."

G-"I don't think so," Gunjan said, her fairy face looking grim. "I know him."

D-"In the biblical sense?"

G-"No. He dated my cousin Rita. But'"

D-"Then he's fair game,"

G-"'he's a hit and run player," Gunjan finished. "From what Rita said, he dazzles whoever he's with for a couple of months and then drops her and moves on. And she never sees it coming."

D-"The beast," Dia said without heat. "You know, men are allowed to leave women they're dating."

G-"Well, he makes them love him and then he leaves them. That is beastly."

N-"Like Aditya," Nupur said, her instinctive distrust of the navy suit confirmed. Dia snorted.

D- "Oh, like you ever loved Aditya."

N-"I was trying to," Nupur snapped. Dia shook her head.

D-"Okay, none of this matters. All you want is a date to the wedding. If it takes the beast a couple of months to dump you, you're covered. So just go over there'"

N-"No." she turned her back on everybody to concentrate on the black and white posters over the bar: All black and white movie pictures of men gambling. Where were all the women gamblers? It wasn't as if being a woman wasn't a huge risk all by itself. Twenty-eight percent of female homicide victims were killed by husbands or lovers. Which, come to think of it, was probably why there weren't any women gamblers. Living with men was enough of a gamble. She fought the urge to turn around and look at the beast on the landing again. Really, the smart thing to do was stop dating and get a cat.

G-"You know she won't go talk to him. Statistically speaking, the probable outcome is not favorable."

D-"Screw that." Dia nudged Nupur and sloshed the Coke in her glass. "Imagine your mother if you brought that to the wedding. She might even let you eat carbs." She looked at Gunjan. "What's his name?"

G-"Mayank Sharma. Rita was buying wedding magazines when he left her. She was writing 'Rita Mayank Sharma' on scrap paper." Dia looked appalled.

D-"That's probably why he left."

N-"Mayank Sharma." Against her better judgment, Nupur turned back to watch him again.

D-"Go over there," Dia said, prodding her with one long fingernail, "and tell Aditya you hope his rash clears up soon. Then introduce yourself to the beast, smile, and don't talk statistics."

N-"That would be shallow. I'm twenty-nine. I'm mature. I don't care if I have a date to my sister's wedding. I'm a better person than that." She thought about her mother's face when she got the news that Aditya was history. No, I'm not.

D-"No, you're not. You're just too chicken to cross the room."

G-"I suppose it might work." Gunjan frowned across the room. "And you can dump him after the wedding and give him a taste of his own medicine."

D-"Yeah, that's the ticket." Dia rolled her eyes. "Do it for Rita and the rest of the girls." He was in profile now, talking to Aditya. The man should be on coins, Nupur thought. Of course, looking that beautiful, he probably never dated the non-model looking. At least, not without sneering. And she'd been sneered at enough for one night.

N-"No," she turned back to the bar. Really, a cat was a good idea.

D-"Look, Stats," dia said, exasperated, "I know you're conservative, but you're damn near solidifying lately. Dating Aditya must have been like dating concrete. And then there's your apartment. Even your furniture is stagnant."

N-"My furniture is my grandmother's," Nupur said stiffly.

D-"Exactly. Your butt's been on it since you were born. You need a change. And if you don't make that change on your own, I will have to help you." Nupur's blood ran cold.

N-"No."

G-"Don't threaten her. She'll change, she'll grow. Won't you, Nupur?"

Nupur looked back at the landing, and suddenly going over there seemed like a good idea. She could stand under that ugly wrought iron railing and eavesdrop, and then if Mayank Sharma sounded even remotely nice'ha, what were the chances?'she could go up and say something sweet to Aditya and get an intro, and Dia would not have movers come in while she was at work and throw out her furniture.

D-"Don't make me do this for you,"  Standing at a roulette wheel bar sulking wasn't doing anything for her. And with all she knew ahead of time, it wasn't likely that he could inflict much damage. Nupur squared her shoulders and took a deep breath.

N- "I'm going in, coach."

D-"Do not say 'percent' at any time for the rest of the night," she said, and Nupur straightened her gray-checked jacket and said a short prayer that she'd think of a great pick-up line before she got to the landing and made a fool of herself. In which case, she'd just spit on the beast, push Aditya over the railing, and go get that cat.

N-"Just so there's a plan," she said to herself and started across the floor.

 

Up on the landing, Mayank Sharma was thinking seriously about pushing Aditya Modi over the railing. I should have moved faster when I saw them coming, he thought. It was Benji's fault.

B-"You know, that Girl over there has great legs," Benji had said. "See her? At the bar, in the purple with the zippers? You suppose she likes football players?"

M-"You haven't played football in fifteen years." Mayank had sipped his drink, easing into an alcohol-tinged peace that was broken only slightly when somebody with no taste in music played "Hound Dog." As far as he was concerned the only two drawbacks to the place were the stupid decor and the fact that Elvis Presley was on the jukebox.

B-"All right, it's been a while since I played, but she doesn't know that." Benji looked back at the girl. "I got 500 bucks that says she'll agree to go out with me. I'll use my chaos theory line."

M-"No bet. Although that is a terrible line, so that would shorten the odds." He squinted across the room to the roulette wheel bar. The girl was flashy, which meant she was Benji's type. There was another girl there, too, the sober kind, their friend Samrat's dream date. Behind the bar, Shanna saw him watching and waved, but she didn't smile, and Mayank wondered what was up as he nodded to her. Benji put his arm around Mayank.

B-"Help me out here, she's in a group. You go over and pick up her up-tight looking  friend in the gray-checked suit, and Samrat can hit on the sober one. I'd give you the sober one, but you know Samrat and she's his type."

Samrat jerked to attention at Mayank's elbow.

S-"What? What sober girl?" He peered across the room at the bar. "Oh. Oh."

M-"Suit?" Mayank looked back at the bar.

B-"The one in gray." Benji nodded toward the bar. "Between the My girl and samrat's girl. She's hard to see because my girl sort of dazzles you. I bet you'"

M-"Oh." Mayank squinted to see the petite woman between the other two girls. She was dressed in a dull, boxy, graychecked suit, She was pretty but looked as if she put all her energy into trying to prove otherwise. Her face scowled under brown hair yanked back into a knot on the top of her head. Benji was right she did look up-tight. "Nope," he said and took another drink. Benji smacked him on the back and made him choke.

B-"Come on, live a little. Don't tell me you're still pining for Sheena."

M-"I never pined for Sheena." Mayank glanced around the crowd. "Keep an eye out for her, will you? She's in that red thing she wears when she's trying to get something."

B-"She can get it from me,"

M-"Great." Mayank's voice was fervent. "I'll even go pick up that suit if you'll marry Sheena." Benji choked on his drink.

B-"Marry?"

M-"Yes. She wants to get married. Surprised the hell out of me." He thought for a moment of Sheena, a sweetheart with a spine of steel. "I don't know where she got the idea we were that close."

S-"There she is." Samrat was looking over Mayank's shoulder. "She's coming up the stairs now." Mayank got up and tried to move past Benji to the door.

M-"Out of my way." Benji stayed in his chair.

B-"You can't leave, I want that girl."

M-"So go get her," said, trying to get around him.

S-"Sheena's got Aditya with her," Samrat said, and there was great sympathy in his voice.

A-"Mayank!" Aditya's voice grated over Mayank's shoulder. "Just who we were looking for." He sounded mad as hell, but when Mayank turned, Aditya was smiling.

Trouble, Mayank thought and smiled back with equal insincerity.

M- "Aditya. Sheena. Great to see you."

Sh-"Hello, Mayank." she smiled up at him, her heart-shaped face lethally lovely. "How've you been?"

M-"Great. Couldn't be better. You, too are, looking great." he looked past her to Aditya, and thought, Take her, please. "You're a lucky man, Aditya."

A-"I am?"

M-"Dating Sheena," Mayank said, putting all the encouragement he could into his voice.

Sheena took Aditya's arm.

Sh- "We just ran into each other." She turned her shoulder to Mayank and glowed up at Aditya. "But it is nice seeing him again." Her eyes slid back to Mayank's face, and he smiled past her ear again, radiating no jealousy at all as hard as he could. Aditya looked down into her beautiful face and blinked, and Mayank felt a stab of sympathy for him. Sheena was enchanting up close. And from far away. From everywhere, really, which was how he'd ended up saying yes to her all the time. Mayank glanced at her impeccably tight little body in her impeccably tight little red dress and then took a step back as he jerked his eyes away, reminding himself of how peaceful life was without her. Distance, that was the key. Maybe a cross and some garlic, too.

A-"Of course. Maybe we can do dinner later." He glanced at Mayank, looking triumphant.

M-"Well, don't let us keep you." he took another step back and bumped into the railing. Sheena let go of Aditya's arm, her glow diminished.

Sh-"I'll just freshen up before we go." Benji and Aditya watched as her perfect rear end swung away from them, while Samrat ignored her to peer across the room at the sober girl, and Mayank took another healthy swallow of his drink and wished he were somewhere else. Anywhere else. Dinner, for example. Maybe he'd stop by Uday's and eat in the kitchen. There were no women in Uday's kitchen.

B-"So, Aditya. How'd our seminar work out for you?"

A-"It was terrific. I didn't think anybody could teach some of those morons that new program, but everybody at the firm is now up to speed. We've even .. ." He went on and Mayank nodded, thinking that one of the many reasons he didn't like Aditya was his tendency to refer to his employees as morons. Still, Aditya paid his bills on time and gave credit where it was due; there were much worse clients. And if he took over

Sheena, Mayank was prepared to feel downright warm toward him. Aditya wound down on whatever it was he'd been saying and looked toward the stairs.

A- "About Sheena. I thought that you and she'"

M-"No." he shook his head with enthusiasm. "She left me a couple of months ago."

A-"Isn't it usually the other way around?" Aditya arched an eyebrow and looked ridiculous. And still women went out with him. Life was a mystery. So were women.

"Aren't you supposed to be the guy who never strikes out?"

M-"No,"

B-"He's losing his edge.I found an easy pickup for him, and he said no."

A-"Which one?"

B-"The gray-checked suit at the bar." Benji motioned with his glass, and Aditya looked at the bar and then turned back to Mayank, smooth as ever.

A-"Maybe you are losing it." He smiled at Mayank. "She shouldn't be that hard to get. It's not like she's a Sheena."

M-"She's all right," said, cautiously. Aditya leaned in.

A-"After all, nobody says no to you, right?"

M-"What?"

A-"I'm willing to bet you that you can't get her. 500 bucks says you can't make out with her." Mayank pulled back.

M-"What?" Aditya laughed, but there was an edge to his voice when he spoke.

A-"It's just a bet, Mayank. You guys love risk, I've seen you bet on damn near everything. This isn't even that big a bet. We should make it 1000."

That was when Mayank had contemplated giving Aditya a healthy push. Benji turned his back to Aditya and mouthed, Humor him, and Mayank sighed. There must be something he could ask for that would make Aditya back down.

M-"That cricket ball in your office," he said. "The one in the case."

A-"My Kapil dev ball?" Aditya's voice went up an octave.

M-"Yeah, that one. That's my price." Mayank slugged back the rest of his scotch and looked around for a waitress. Aditya shook his head.

A-"Not a chance. My dad caught that pop-up for me in '83. But I like your style, upping the stakes like that." He leaned in closer. "Tell you what. The last refresher seminar you ran for us set me back 1 lakh. I'll bet you 1 lakh in cash against a free seminar'" Mayank forced a smile.

M-"Aditya, I was kidding'"

A-"But for 1, you have to get her into bed. I'll play fair. I'll give you a month to get her out of that gray-checked suit."

B-"Piece of cake," Mayank glared at Benji.

M-"Aditya, this isn't my kind of bet."

A-"It's my kind," Aditya said, drawing his brows together, and Mayank thought, Hell, he's going to push this, and we need his business. Okay, clearly booze had shut down Aditya's brain. But once it was back up and working again, Aditya would back down on the 1 lakh, that was insane, and Aditya was never insane about money. So all he had to do was stall until Aditya sobered up and then pretend the whole thing never happened. He stole a glance across the room to the bar and was delighted to see that the gray suit had disappeared some time during their conversation. Mayank turned back to him and said,

M-"Well, I would, Aditya, but she's gone." And God bless you, gray suit, for leaving, he thought and picked up his drink again. Things were finally going his way.

 

Nupur had walked across the room, telling herself that it was a real toss-up as to which would be worse, trying to talk to this guy or enduring Aarti's wedding unescorted. When she neared the landing, she edged her way under the rail, catching faint snatches of conversations as she went, not stopping until she heard Aditya's voice faintly above

her, saying, "But for 1, though, you have to get her into bed." What? Nupur thought. It was noisy up there by the door, maybe she hadn't heard him'

"I'll play fair," Aditya went on. "I'll give you a month to get her out of that gray-checked suit." Nupur looked down at her gray-checked suit. "Piece of cake," somebody said to him, and Nupur thought, Son of a b***h, the world is full of sex-crazed ba****ds, and forced herself to move on before she climbed the railing and killed them both. She headed back to Dia and Gunjan, fuming. She knew exactly what Aditya was up to. He assumed she wouldn't sleep with anybody because she'd turned him down. She'd warned him about that, about the rash assumptions he made, but instead of taking her advice, he'd kept asking her out. Because he thought I was a sure thing, she realized. Because he'd looked at her and thought, average looking, smart woman who'll never cheat on me and will be grateful I sleep with her. "Ba***d," she said out loud. She should have sex with Mayank Sharma just to pay Aditya back. But then she'd have no way of getting even with Mayank Sharma. God, she was dumb. average and dumb, there was a winning combo.

D-"What's wrong?" said when she was back at the bar. "Did you ask him?"

N-"No. As soon as you finish your drinks, I'm ready to go." Nupur turned back to the balcony and caught sight of them, just as they caught sight of her. Aditya's face was smug, but Mayank Sharma clutched his drink and looked like he'd just seen Death.

 

A-"There she is, I told you she'd be back. Go get her, champ."

M-"Uh, Aditya," l began, consigning the gray-checked suit to the lowest circle of hell.

A-"A bet's a bet."

Mayank put his empty glass down on the rail and thought fast. The suit did not look happy, so the odds weren't impossible that she'd go for a chance to get out of the bar if he offered dinner. "Look, Aditya, sex is not in the cards. I'm cheap, but I'm not slimy. You want to bet 100 bucks on a pickup, fine, but that's it. Nothing with a future."

Aditya shook his head.

A-"Oh, no, I'll bet on the pickup, too, 100 bucks if you leave with her. But the 1 lakh is still on. If you lose . . ." He smiled at Mayank, drawing out the 'lose,' "you do a seminar for me for free."

M-"Aditya, I can't make that bet," he said, trying another tack. "I have two partners who'"

B-"I'm good for it. Mayank never misses." Mayank glared at him.

M-"Well, Sam isn't good for it."

B-"Hey, Sam, you in?" he said, and sam said,

S-"Sure," without looking away from the girl at the bar.

M-"Samrat!"

S-"She's the prettiest little thing I've ever seen,"

M-"Sam you just bet that I could get a woman into bed," said with great patience. "Now tell Aditya you don't want to bet a 1lakh refresher seminar on sex."

S-"What?" said, finally looking away from the girl.

M-"I said'" began.

S-"Why would you bet on something like that?"

B-"That's not the question. The question is, can he do it?"

S-"Sure. But'"

A-"Then we have a bet,"

M-"No, we do not,"

A-"You don't think you can do it. You're losing it."

M-"This is not about me," said, and then Sheena slid back into the group and put her hand on his arm. She leaned into him.

A-"She's over there waiting for you," said, an edge in his voice.

Sh-"She?" Sheena's glow dimmed. "Are you seeing somebody?"

Oh, hell, Mayank thought.

A-"Mayank?"

Sh-"Mayank?"

B-"I love this,"

S-"What?" Mayank sighed. It was the suit or Sheena, the rock or the soft place who wanted to get married. He detached her hand from his arm.

M-"Yes, I'm seeing somebody. Excuse me."

He pushed past Sheena and Aditya and headed for the bar, wishing them both the worst fate he could think of, that they'd end up together. Nupur watched Mayank Sharma move toward the stairs. The beast. He thought that he could get her in a month, that she was so pathetic she'd just' Her brain caught up with her train of thought, and she straightened.

D-"Will you tell us what's wrong?"

N-"A month,"  He walked down the steps and made his way through the crowd, ignoring the come-hither looks of the women he passed. He was coming to pick her up. Suppose she let him. Suppose for the next three weeks she made him pay by stringing him along and then took him to Aarti's wedding. He wouldn't leave her; he had to stick for a month to win his damn bet. All she had to do was say no to sex for three weeks, drag him to her sister's wedding, and then leave his ass cold. Nupur settled back against the bar and examined the idea from all sides. He more than deserved to be tortured for three weeks. And in that three weeks she could figure out a way to make Aditya suffer, too. And her mother would have somebody beautiful to point out to people at the wedding as her date. It was a plan, and as far as she could see, it was all good. The bartender came back and Nupur said,

N-"Rum and Diet Coke, please. A double."

D-"That's your third. And fourth. The aspartame alone will make you insane. What are you doing?"

G-"Was he mean to you? What happened?"

N-"I didn't talk to him." waved them away. "Move down the bar a couple of feet will you. I'm about to get hit on and you're cramping my style."

D-"We missed something," said to gunjan

G-"Move," said, and pushed Dia down the bar.

Nupur turned away when the bartender brought her drink, so when The Beast spoke from beside her, she jerked her head up and caught the full force of him unprepared: hot dark eyes, perfect cheekbones, and a mouth a woman would betray her moral fiber to kiss. Her heart kicked up into her throat, and she swallowed hard to get it back where it belonged.

M-"I have a problem," he said, and his voice was low and smooth, warm enough to be charming, rich enough to clog arteries. Dark chocolate, Nupur thought and looked at him blankly, keeping her breathing slow.

N-"Problem?"

M-"Well, usually my line is 'Can I buy you a drink?' but you have one." He smiled at her, radiating testosterone through his expensive suit.

N-"Well, that is a problem." She started to turn away.

M-"So what I thought," he said, his voice dropping even lower as he leaned closer to her and made her heart pound, "was that we could go somewhere else, and I could buy you dinner." The closer he got, the better he looked. He was the used car salesman of seducers, Nupur decided, trying to get her distance back. You could never get a good deal from a used car salesman; they sold cars all the time and you only bought a couple in a lifetime so they always won. Statistically speaking, you were toast before you walked on the lot. She could only imagine how many women this guy had mutilated in his lifetime. The mind boggled. His smile had disappeared while he waited for her answer, and he looked vulnerable now, taking a chance on asking her out. He faked vulnerable very well. Remember, she told herself, the son of a b***h is doing this for a 1000 bucks. Actually, he was trying to do her for 1000 bucks. Cheapskate. Suddenly, breathing normally was not a problem.

N-"Dinner?" she said.

M-"Yes." He bent still closer. "Somewhere quiet where we can talk. You look like someone with interesting things to say. And I'm somebody who'd like to hear them." Nupur smiled at him.

N-"That's a terrible line. Does it usually work for you?" He froze for a second, and then he segued from sincere to boyish again.

M-"Well, it has up till now."

N-"It must be your voice. You deliver it beautifully."

M-"Thank you." He straightened. "Let's try this again." He held out his hand. "I'm Mayank Sharma. My friends call me Mayank." He said with a wink.

N-"Nupur Bhushan." She shook his hand and dropped it before it could feel warm in her grasp. " my friends would call me foolhardy if I left this bar with a stranger."

M-"Wait." He got out his wallet and pulled out 200 bucks. "This is cab fare. If I get fresh, you get a cab." Dia would take the 200 and then dump him. There was a plan, but Dia didn't need a wedding date. What else would Dia do? Nupur plucked the 200 from his fingers.

N-"If you get fresh, I'll break your nose." She folded the money and put it in her pocket.

M-"Fair enough," he said, "let's go eat," and she reminded herself to ignore what a beautiful mouth he had since it was full of forked tongue.

N-"First, promise me no more lame lines," she said, and watched his jaw clench.

M-"Anything you want," he said. Nupur shook her head.

N-"Another line. I suppose you can't help it. And free food is always good." She picked up her purse from the bar. "Let's go-" She walked away before he could say anything else, and he followed her, past a dumbfounded Dia and a delighted Gunjan, across the floor and up onto the landing by the door, and the last thing she saw as they left was Aditya looking outraged. The evening was turning out much better than she'd expected.


Note: What do you'll think? A long 1st update Big smile

 



Edited by aastu - 25 July 2010 at 10:08am

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You-Know-Who

IF-Dazzler

You-Know-Who

Joined: 31 March 2010

Posts: 3785

Posted: 25 July 2010 at 9:27am | IP Logged
resEmbarrassed

*edited*

Ah! Sigh! That was beautifully written..

The beast n the gray suit are intriguing characters! Lets see what they make of themselves...

I m so darn excited dear! This is just ah-mazing!

Please please please continue soon!

Loads of love, (coz you give us wonderful storiesWink)
Akansha!

Edited by ak12 - 25 July 2010 at 10:49pm

Let-It-Go

IF-Rockerz

Let-It-Go

Joined: 13 February 2009

Posts: 8623

Posted: 25 July 2010 at 9:55am | IP Logged

jjumpin....jumpinn...!!!!!

u finally started with an FF...wowie...!!!!
adult content...ahem ahem..i am 19 now ..hahahah !!!
waitin eagerly for ur update
 
 
amazin... joyyyyy!!
 
-Ruchi-

a-little-hope

IF-Sizzlerz

a-little-hope

Joined: 07 July 2009

Posts: 11889

Posted: 25 July 2010 at 10:13am | IP Logged
res...
 
@Akki.... LOL you came here before me... 24-20 then...!!!
 
EDITED:
 
Awesome start Aastu...
 
I was so tired yday night, but could not sleep without reading this...
 
I have read your Proposition FF... which is AMAZING.... FANTASTIC... MASTERPIECE....
 
Love this FF too.. update soon....


Edited by -Jess- - 26 July 2010 at 8:51pm

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

You-Know-Who

Let-It-Go

IF-Rockerz

Let-It-Go

Joined: 13 February 2009

Posts: 8623

Posted: 25 July 2010 at 10:30am | IP Logged
OMG !!
 
amazin update dear ...
..Aditiya suckz...darnnn ..!!
 
i loved the whole deal and with mayank-nupur having their individual interst ....wow....lookin fwd to it !!
 
 
plz pm me :)

..Shreyu..

IF-Dazzler

..Shreyu..

Joined: 14 January 2010

Posts: 3758

Posted: 25 July 2010 at 10:45am | IP Logged
Ammazing update Aastu

Loved it dear

Thanks for PM

Update asap

Love,
Shreyu

-afsha-

IF-Sizzlerz

-afsha-

Joined: 24 June 2008

Posts: 20272

Posted: 25 July 2010 at 10:48am | IP Logged

Awesum 1st part

Loved it

Nups is gonna giv hard tim to Mayu

Well i wuld love to c Mayu making Nups beleive in herself that she isnt tht fat n all

Love Aditya for that bet but hate him for dumping Nups

Benji was fab n Sam is toh Head over heels on GunLOL

Nice one
Update soonWink n longer part only

maizis

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maizis

Joined: 05 December 2009

Posts: 390

Posted: 25 July 2010 at 10:55am | IP Logged
loved it
update soon

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