Namrata was relaxed when he dropped her home next morning by 6AM. They could barely sleep but she felt fresh. She had the off at work and she told him about it.
He had said, “I wish I could spend the entire day with you… you know… go on a movie date, lunch… but sorry darling… I have work to finish. There is a new tender for this line of diamond jewellery. My companies can’t take another setback…” She had understood and smiled. Though she was breaking from within, she didn’t want to show her emotions to him. He had promised to meet her at night. So… it always came down to sex… not that she complained. She loved every moment spent with him especially where she could speak her heart out and he could easily gauge her mood. But that’s how he was and he had not committed anything to her. She knew it so she couldn’t complain.
She slept for an hour after her mother left for her NGO. Tomorrow, Thursday her mother was leaving for her first trip after six years. Independently for a week. She was now confidently handling her wheel chair. Her mother too had fought odds and was now getting self-reliant. She had been appointed supervisor for the kitchen services by the NGO. She was now very confident. Namrata was happy because it gave her more time to pursue her work and for herself. Then on Friday her brother was to leave for his field trip for four days. He would be back on Wednesday .Till then she had few days for herself. Guilt ran through her for being happy about it but she had wanted some time for herself since ages…
After waking up she finished her household chores which were pending. Though she was supposed to be relaxed, she was far from it. She knew the reason too. She wanted to meet him… this kind of craving for him was dangerous … but she couldn’t help it. She barely got time with him but whenever she was with him, she felt wanted and cherished. She was hopelessly in love with him… She had little doubt he felt the same for her, but unless he said it she couldn’t be sure.
But… what did she know about him? Only his name… now that sounded familiar… where had she heard that name before?
She took out her laptop and googled him. She shook her head thinking, she should have done this last week when they had first met… Nonetheless it was better late than never. She typed his name in the search engine and got a page full of links. All mentioning his businesses and mergers… There was nothing about his personal life at all. There was no mention of parents, siblings…. girlfriend the last sent a pang of jealousy through her. After an hour of trying she was bored and gave it up.
She decided to message him. He could reply whenever he got the time. But at the same time she didn’t want to sound clingy. She typed.
Hi. Hope all’s going well at work…
Now that was a safe area. Immediately her phone buzzed with an incoming text.
All ok. What’s my little sparrow doing?
That got a smile on her lips. She messaged back.
Waiting to hear from her Giant Eagle
There was a pause and then the next message came in
Come home at 6PM. We can have an early dinner. I have to work… Ok with U?
She shook her head. He worked all the time. But she couldn’t miss a chance of seeing him. She smiled as she typed,
Done. Will be there. I will cook… Ok with U?
Her phone buzzed almost immediately after she had sent her message. It was laughing emoji…
C ya at 6
Namrata was walking on air… humming her favourite tune as she got ready that evening. She wanted to feel comfortable. So she wore her favourite grey office suit. She didn’t possess any jewellery except for those gold studs in her ears. She preferred to leave them on and left for his home. She was there by 5.50PM… he was already at home. She had purchased paneer on her way. She knew what else was stocked in his refrigerator. As soon as he answered her knock, he pulled her in and closed the door. She saw he was on a call. Giving her an intense look he blurted into the phone, “I…I will get back….”
He kept the phone in his pocket and pulled her to him. He buried his head in her hair and held her tight. She dropped her bags and hugged him back. She longed to smell his cologne. She took in a deep breath and felt as though transported straight to heaven…
Today his hug had a different emotion… he released her and gave her a peck on her lips. He held her face in his palms and stared down at her. There was some kind of longing in his look… she yearned to know. She touched his cheek and smiled as he leaned into it.
“What’s it my Giant eagle?” she asked in a voice barely audible…
The expression was gone. He shook his head and said, “I… have to make an important call…you want to order something? I have given an off to my cook for a couple of days”
“No… As promised I am going to cook… you carry on…” She gave her handbag to him.
She picked up the market bag and went to his kitchen. She found an apron which she wore and started dinner. Within an hour she had prepared an elaborate meal of Kadhai Paneer, Rotis, Jeera rice and Daal tadka. For desert she prepared rawa kheer, her mom’s secret recipe. She was pumped up to see his reaction… would he like it?
She arranged the food on the dining table, as she heard him rattle away figures on the phone.
She waved to him… but he ignored her. He was totally engrossed in his conversation. She served food for him on a plate and took it to him. He cut the call and sighed leaning behind on his chair with his eyes closed. He looked extremely troubled and miserable. Her heart was crumbling seeing him so desolate…
She touched him on his hand and he opened his tires eyes.
“You have to eat… common. Work will happen, but now you need to have this.”
He looked up at the ceiling. His eyes were shining with unshed emotions, “You know little sparrow? Everything I have is at stake for this tender. It is important for me… my company…” Then looking back at her he continued, “… for us.”
He closed his eyes and swallowed hard. She pressed his palm and he looked at her again as a drop of tear fell from his eye. She kept the plate on the centre table and went close to him. She took his hand and made him sit on the seater comfortably.
“Just breathe…” she said.
She took the plate again and took a spoonful of rice. She took it near him mouth and fed him. Slowly she fed him the complete plate of food. Finally she served him a bowl of kheer which he relished. He immediately got another call and got busy. She cleared the kitchen and came back to the drawing room. She wasn’t much hungry so she just had a bowl of sweet.
He was still on the phone…
She sat next to him and rubbed his back. He moved and put an arm around her shoulder and pulled her close to him even as he spoke.
“…tomorrow we go with the quotes I gave you Viraj… that’s the only option we have…”
“…No Viraj, make that the final draft. I am confident about this quotation. Tomorrow is the last day. We send the quotation along with the deposit. I have arranged for the money. ”
“… I know… it’s a huge trade… RM industry is at stake here… No Viraj. I have to take this chance… yes… go ahead and do as I have told.”
“By the way did you find out who was so close to our quotation last time? Who is PC infotech? Never heard of him before. I have asked Prasad to check him out. Strange that he didn’t turn up for the tender opening, but sent his department head….” He rubbed his tired eyes and continued, “…anyway…You concentrate on this tender. We will see about that guy later.”
He ended the call.
He stood taking her along with him. He turned her to face him. He held her face and said, “Thank you my little sparrow…” he kissed her forehead.
“Hey… why are you thanking me?”
“Actually… no one…NO ONE ever has cared for me like….” His voice choked. He took in a deep breath and smile down at her. He put an arm around her shoulder and took her to the bedroom.
Their union that night surpassed all the passion from before. It was not just a physical coupling but a union of their emotions, feelings and desires… it was a union of hearts.
As they lay staring into oblivion… she lying on his chest and he cuddling her, he asked, “Can I… ask you something my little sparrow?”
“If you know… I mean … if you… If I reveal my past to you… will you still… actually my past is not… you know…. Will you…feel the same for me?”
She went up on his chest and smiled into his eyes. She kissed him deeply with all she had and whispered, “I hope… you like my answer.”
He hugged her tightly as if his life depended on her words…
He pulled her beneath him and raised himself on his elbows. He touched his forehead to hers and said,
“My little sparrow… I … I love you…”
Meanwhile few kilometres away…
He finished his third bottle for the evening. He replayed the audio clip,
‘Everything I have is at stake for this tender. It is important for me… my company…
…Who is PC info tech?’
He laughed loudly and coughed as he wheezed… he took the inhaler from his pocket and took a puff in. The wheezing stopped. He craved a cigarette but was warned by the doctor this time strictly against it. Normally he wouldn’t listen but now he was so close to victory he couldn’t risk his health further.
The Eagle was in love… that made things all the more better.
Now he had to be quick. His late wife always said, ‘a speedy execution gives birth to good fortune’
The giant eagle was playing right into his hands…
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