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Chapter 2: The Interview
"Geet," Adi said, turning to stare at her in surprise, "Do you really want to work for my b-boss? A-are you sure that's what you want to do?" Adi was in Geet's room, staring at the two friends sitting on the bed. Geet had asked for him to come inside, not wanting her parents to know that she had lost her job until she had another job in hand. She knew that if her parents found out, they would insist on taking care of her expenses, and that was something she didn't want them to do.
Geet's eyes widened at the stammer in her Jeeja Ji's voice. Adi was a quiet man, a gentle man. He had the tendency to dress in a businesslike fashion at all times, and wore black-rimmed eyeglasses. He also had a tendency to push those same glasses up the bridge of his nose when he was stressed, as he was doing repeatedly right now.
Pinky had pounced on him as soon as he'd stepped through the door. "Geet wants to work for Maan Singh Khurana! Get her a job there. Please." Geet took the material of her shirt in her hand, worriedly crumpling it, as she thought about how Adi had paled at his wife's entreaty. He'd flinched slightly and had then started playing with those glasses.
"What kind of work experience do you have, Geet?" he asked suddenly, coming to sit across from her.
"I've been working with children," Geet offered apologetically, seeing his eyes widen slightly. "I tutor them and take care of them."
"What are you majoring in?" he asked abruptly, changing the subject.
"I'm getting a degree in teaching," Geet murmured. "I can't wait to start working with children in a school setting. It's what I've always wanted," she said softly, touching her cheek nervously before forcing her hand down to her side.
"But see, you don't really have the qualifications to be M-Maan Singh Khurana's assistant. And that is the only position open right now," he said gently, tugging at his collar when he saw the scowl on Pinky's face. "Mr. Khurana will not tolerate any mistakes, not even because of a lack of experience. Miss Singhania, his previous assistant, had impeccable credentials and had worked with him for years. M-Maan S-sir would make your life hell if you disappointed him in any way."
"Adi, Geet has taken a secretarial course and business classes. She'll be a great assistant," Pinky insisted stubbornly.
"Pinky," Geet said hesitantly, staring wide-eyed at her friend. "I don't think that I want to work for a man like that. I can just put school off for a semester."
"Geet, really," Pinky protested, turning to her in with a huff. "No matter how cranky he may be, the money and his looks are worth it," she finished impishly, staring at Adi out of the corner of her eyes. "I remember how my heart used to jump whenever I was around him."
"That was the result of fear," Adi muttered to himself in a low tone.
"What?" Pinky asked brightly, turning to gaze questioningly at her pouting husband.
"Nothing!" Adi quickly said. Clearing his throat, he pushed his glasses back up his nose, and turned to Geet. "If this is what you want, I can arrange an interview for you this evening. Maan S-sir is leaving the country tomorrow on a business trip. Would you be willing to go to his house tonight?"
Geet finally nodded, thinking about the money that she could save to for school if she spent this time working instead of looking for work.
And anyways, how bad could this Maan Singh Khurana be?
"He will be right with you," the servant said to her, bowing his head slightly. "Would you like something to drink while you're waiting, Miss?"
"No, thank you," Geet said hoarsely, her eyes wide as she gazed about her. Her mind was still reeling from the immensity of the mansion. And now, when she was inside, her eyes couldn't stop roving about. She'd been placed in an alcove on the second floor, above the living room, and every little thing in this place bespoke of age and wealth.
"Hello," a warm voice said from behind her. Geet jumped up, her eyes turning to gaze at the woman that had come up behind her.
"Namaste," Geet murmured, gazing at the woman questioningly. The older woman gazed back at her with a big smile on her face. "I was here to meet Mr. Maan Singh Khurana," she finally offered, hoping for some sort of response.
"Yes, Nakul told me," she responded. Gesturing for Geet to take a seat, the woman sat down across from her. "I am Savitri Devi. I am Maan's grandmother. I will be doing the interview today," she explained. "Maan will not be available."
Geet brightened at that, her shoulders straightening. She gave a sigh of relief, happy to not have to face Maan Singh Khurana just yet. She could still hear Adi's stutter in her mind. If this man evoked that kind of reaction in her jeeja ji, than how would she ever be able to cope with him? "Stop it, Geet," she muttered to herself. "You're strong. You're confident. There is no reason for you to be afraid of him."
"Did you say something?" Savitri Devi asked, tilting her head to the side in inquiry.
"No, I'm sorry," Geet stammered. "I have this habit of talking to myself' I don't know why I just admitted that to you. That probably makes me sound really crazy."
"Not at all, beta, we all have our foibles," Savitri Devi responded soothingly. "I'm afraid that I didn't get your name." She gazed at the timid young lady in front of her, a woman too solemn for her age. She had a warmth and innocence about her that would aid her in performing her duties. Her gaze moved over the girl's delicate features, her slightly curling hair, and that half-smile upon her lips. She was happy with the choice that had been made.
"My name is Geet Handa," Geet responded quickly.
"And how old are you?" Savitri Devi enquired in interest.
"I am 23 years old," Geet murmured. "I am going to school to get my teaching degree," she offered without a second thought. Wincing slightly, she silently berated herself for revealing this. 'Why would they hire you if they think you're not invested in this job?'
But Savitri Devi seemed to be happy with that bit of news. "Then you have some experience with this kind of work?" she asked.
"Not really," Geet said, "But I have learned everything that I need to perform my duties efficiently. You won't find a harder worker than me," she promised.
Savitri Devi laughed softly, before turning her attention to someone below.
"There goes your charge," she murmured, tilting her head, urging Geet to take a look over the balcony.
Geet leaned over slightly to see, and her eyes widened at the sight of the man stalking through the room. His body moved like that of a tiger prowling through the jungle, supremely confident in his own superiority. His clothes were molded to his muscled body, elegant in the extreme. The size of his arms evidenced his quiet strength. There was a dark scowl on his face, and a phone pressed to his ear, as he barked orders to the hapless individual on the other end.
"I don't care what you think might have happened, but she's not here. What were you thinking?"
His voice was husky, but with a velvety smoothness that seemed to seduce, even as he berated someone with that voice. Geet leaned over further, trying to keep her gaze on the man that had already left the room.
"Geet? Are you listening to me?" a voice interjected, breaking through the maelstrom that had invaded Geet's mind. Why was she so obsessed after just a glimpse of that man? Why was she finding it so hard to focus on the woman in front of her?
"I'm sorry," she said huskily, surprised by how her voice had changed ' lowered. She bit her lip and quickly cleared her throat. "What were you saying, ma'am?" she asked, smiling tremulously at the older woman.
"I was just saying that your charge will be a bit ' temperamental," the older woman stated.
Geet nodded in understanding. "Jee'sorry, Adi told me that would be so."
"He can be a bit moody sometimes," his grandmother continued. "He also has the tendency to have temper tantrums. You'll have to deal with all of that."
"That's what I'm here for, Savitri Devi," Geet murmured in reply.
"Your duties will include waking him up on time, and making sure that he has his glass of warm milk before he goes to sleep at night."
Geet's eyes widened at that. "I'm sorry, what?" she asked, blinking in surprise.
"He's too old for you to tuck him in, so you won't have to do that," the older woman continued blithely
"I should think not," Geet said faintly, her voice dying away.
"You will also have to make sure that he's dressed properly," she continued smilingly. "Make sure that he eats three meals a day and you must keep him away from sweets. He gets very hyper."
Geet nodded, her head tilted to the side. "And those will be my duties?" she asked in confusion.
"The last time he was hyper he broke my favorite lamp," Savitri Devi revealed mournfully.
Geet blinked once more. 'No wonder jeeja ji was so hesitant about getting me this job,' she thought to herself. 'What kind of man is this that he can't even dress himself and gets hyper on sweets? Will I be able to do this job?'
"Can you do all of that?" Savitri Devi asked, echoing Geet's thoughts. "I would love to hire you, beta, but only if you can handle it."
Geet nodded, pasting a smile on her face. If she had to go above and beyond the call of duty of a normal assistant, then who was she to refuse? The salary was worth any amount of extra trouble.
"Good! Then you can start immediately," the older woman stated, standing up. Geet got up, as well. "You can take a warm glass to him right now and introduce yourself. Here's Nakul with the milk," she murmured happily, turning to gaze at the servant. She watched quietly as Nakul handed the milk to Geet. "His bedroom is the fourth door down the third hallway," she stated. "If you get lost, just ask anyone, and they will be able to help you."
Geet nodded hesitantly, and turned to go.
"Excuse me, can you tell me where Mr. Maan Singh Khurana's bedroom is?" Geet called out to the retreating figure. The servant pointed to a door before turning the corner. Geet stared at the imposing doors and squared her shoulders before knocking firmly on the door.
There was no response. She knocked once more, louder this time. Once again, there was no response.
"Hello? Is anyone in here?" she murmured softly, opening the door. Stepping inside, she gazed around the room before making her way to the side table. She would just leave this milk here. A part of her was glad that she didn't have to face him tonight. Tomorrow would be soon enough to get a list of her duties before he left the country.
"Who are you?" a voice asked from behind her. "And how dare you come into my room without my permission?"
Geet whirled around, the milk still in her hand. Her eyes widened, and she gasped lightly, seeing that man in front of her once more. Maan Singh Khurana. He had just stepped out of the shower, because his hair was still wet, several strands falling across his forehead. He wore black sweats and a tank top, and those arms were left bare to Geet's fascinated gaze.
"I asked you who you were," Maan barked at her.
"M-my name is Geet Handa," she finally forced out, her gaze locked to his.
"Geet Handa?" Maan asked. "Are you bringing me milk as appeasement for being late?" he threw at her harshly.
"Late? But I wasn't late," Geet said. Or rather, tried to say, but Maan was moving toward her, and Geet had lost her voice. She looked around frantically, turning this way and that, for an escape. As he moved closer, Geet backed up, until there was no more room for retreat. Her back hit the wall, and she gasped lightly. "Please. Could you '?"
"You were supposed to be here an hour ago, Miss Handa," he stated, gazing down at her.
Geet absentmindedly offered him the milk, caught in his gaze once more.
He glared at the milk for a moment, before shifting his gaze back to her. "I do not drink milk, Miss Handa. It's too late for an interview. You can leave."
"B-but sir," Geet protested, growing frustrated with his attitude. "I was here on time. Your grandmother has already interviewed me. And I didn't come into your room for my own enjoyment," she finally got the courage to retort, "I was doing the task assigned to me."
"What task?" he asked, surprised by her fiery response.
"Bringing you your nightly glass of milk," Geet quickly responded. She stepped forward, forcing him to step back. Pushing the glass of milk into his hand, she quickly moved away from him and toward the door.
"You said that my grandmother interviewed you?" Maan called out from behind her.
Geet nodded, refusing to turn around.
"What did she say in this interview? Turn around Miss Handa," he ordered.
Geet turned around and gazed at the man once more. "She asked me about my experience."
"And what is your experience?" he asked.
"I do not have any real world experience," Geet confessed.
Maan snorted at that revelation.
"But I did take a secretarial course," she continue doggedly. "And I have taken computer and business classes."
Maan relaxed at that.
"I am also a hard worker, and I learn quickly. If there is anything I don't know, I can learn," she said almost belligerently. "I was even willing to do these extra duties," she muttered. "And you're still giving me attitude," she said in a low tone, not meant to reach his ears.
"What extra duties?" Maan asked after a short moment.
"Your grandmother said that I have to come to your house and wake you up every morning. Make sure that you are dressed properly, and make sure that you eat three meals a day."
"What?" Maan asked in surprise. She paled under his glare, unsure of what to say next. He began to stride toward her.
Geet backed up, and she was once again stuck between the wall and his body. She plastered herself against the hard surface, trying to avoid all contact with him.
She began to babble once more. "She also said that you were a bit temperamental and had temper tantrums that I would have to handle. But I told her that was okay, and that my jeeja ji had already warned me about that."
"Your jeeja ji?" Maan asked in a dangerous tone.
"Adi," she answered quickly.
"Didn't you find it a bit strange that you would have to do all these tasks?" he finally asked curtly, placing a hand next to her head. "After all, you are here to interview for the position of my assistant."
"I will do whatever is required," Geet responded quietly, staring at that hand so close to her. She sidled to the side, moving away from the heat emanating from him.
Maan pulled back, and stared down at the glass of milk he still had in his hand.
"Do you have any experience with children?" he asked suddenly.
"I've taken care of children for the past two and 1/2 years, and I am getting my teaching degree," Geet answered hesitantly.
Maan held out the glass once more, and Geet took it in her hands, curling her fingers around the cold glass.
"My grandmother hired you as a nanny, Miss Handa. And I think you might be better suited for that job."
Geet's mouth half-opened in protest.
"The salary will be the same," he interjected, causing Geet to subside.
"But what child?" she finally asked, grasping the milk glass to her chest. "Whose '?"
"You will be taking care of my five-year-old son, Miss Handa. His name is Rahul."
Thank you all for the comments, guys. I'm glad that you're liking the story. Don't forget to leave more feedback, and if you want PMs about updates, then buddy the username darkice7_12PM, please.
Joined: 29 June 2010
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