Manik had carried her till the hammock set near the end of the beach. After settling her there, he went back to the canopy that was set for them on his request. He poured champagne in two tall glasses and brought them for her.
Looking suave and stylish in ragged denim jeans and grey stone-washed shirt, he walked around as if he owned the place before he came back and sat beside her. The short shirt with a top button opened made him look delectable. He gave her a glass of her drink. She took the glass from his hand and was back to facing the beach and the moon. But he was looking at her, instead. Holding a dreamy, obsessed look in his eyes.
He took a sip from his champagne but didn’t swallow it. Instead, he leaned closer to her, near her neck, and poured a sip of champagne from his mouth on her neck, which trickled down her collar bone.
“Ouch!” She was shocked.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” He whispered in a husky voice and stared at her like a helpless, lovesick teenager, making her go weak in her knees. She bit her lower lip unable to ignore the captivating look in his eyes. Before she could speak anything, he bent forwards and licked all of it from her neck and collar bone, and slowly moved to kiss her shoulder, pushing down the strap of her dress.
“Oops!!” She couldn’t contain the pleasure and was stirred completely, deep till her core, “We are out in open space.”
He spoke in lazy whisper, “It’s a private beach. I’ve reserved it for tonight.”
“Wha… what!!”She gasped before he cradled her jaw in her hand and caressed her ear lobe softly, slowly bending ahead towards her for a kiss on her lips, giving her goosebumps all this while.
He kissed her and she kissed him back just as impatiently as him. He snaked his hands on her waist and her back, roving all over her body and sucked the skin over her throat till she moaned in delight. She lay down on the warm sand and he followed her, mesmerized and hooked to her as iron does to a magnet…moth to a flame…
They lay side by side looking up at the dark cloudy sky and the moon peeping out from behind the clouds. Manik rolled over her and when she didn’t oppose him, he lowered over her to give feather light seductive kisses over her neck, shoulder and jawline.
She stretched her back and neck as they stiffened under his kisses and closed her eyes in an attempt to contain the bliss. After a long moment, she opened her eyes to see the view around them… Shadows from palm trees under the moonlight made patterns of leaves on their bodies, waves from the sea hitting the shores just like waves of pleasure hitting her body at intervals, the rough sand under her scratching her silky smooth skin just as Manik’s hands moving over her belly and her wrists. His fingers grasped her wrists and gave her red-blue marks of bittersweet pain.
“You’re so beautiful.” He murmured.
She smiled at the compliment and returned another to him, “Your lips made me feel beautiful at those places.”
He rolled over the warm sand and pulled her over him. She followed him like a doll. He crawled his hands up in her hair and pulled away the scrunchie holding the bun at her neck and ruffled her hair loose. She shook her hair to loosen them more so that they fell like waves to lie on her shoulders. He removed her hair from her shoulders and slid his lips over her shoulders, kissing them while his hands moved down towards her curves pressing on his body. His roving hands made her wriggle due to the loving sensations they left on her skin over her neck, her shoulders, tracing a line from her jaw towards her breasts, making non-specific patterns on her skin. A divine joy was waiting for her when he kissed her all over her body and she let him feel her wherever he wanted to touch her.
She couldn’t stop kissing him, as well. Today was Sunday and the silly, lazy weekend was about to end. They had spent 2 days of uninhibited indulgence with each other and it already appeared like a lifetime of bliss. As if they had been together, forever. As if they didn’t need anyone or anything else to complete their existence.
As if… they were enough for each other!
After a long time of silent communication through hands, lips, gestures, and eye-locks, when none of them spoke anything, they realised that it was too late. Almost past midnight. Surprisingly, none of them wanted the date to end.
Both sat down on the warm sand watching the reflection of moon on the crystal clear seawater and talked about how they remembered their childhood and what they expected from their future.
She wanted to become a full-time artist. She loved the riot of colors on the canvas. Painting, sculpting, ceramic work was her calling. He wanted to open a chain of book stores and cafe’s in New York and all over the world. His idea was a series of book shops, each with a cool cafe attached to it.
“So, you want to move to New York, yeah??” She asked him with a hint of disappointment in her voice. As if, asking about it, again and again, was going to change it.
“Yes. At least for now. What about you?”
“I’ll stay back in our small neighbourhood. I love the country feel, the music, the food…and the artworks that I do.”
It disappointed him slightly. But he quickly got over it.
What was he thinking ?? Didn’t he know that Manik Malhotra was just a good friend and man-in-need for Nandini Murthy. On this holiday, he was a ‘special friend with special benefits’…
Obviously, he had no place in her life. She had always hooked up with ‘The Boys’ of school, team leaders, soccer captains, head boys… everyone loved her for she was brilliant and dynamic. He, on the other hand, was average and rogue.
With a pang in his heart, he decided to remain content with what he had with him right now and to cherish it for long. They had been making love madly since last night and this was nothing less than a treasure cove for him.
He needed to drift away from her to avoid heartbreaks after a sad ending. He was not going to wait till his heart was broken to pieces. Neither he believed in sticking around to make a show of his trashed emotions to the world. He was safe and secure as long as he was quiet about them.
“Nandu, promise me one thing.” He asked.
“What?” She replied like a lazy bone, stretching her legs ahead. Her priceless dress was crumpled beyond repair.
“What happened in Miami, stays here. We are not taking this baggage back.”
Her heart almost broke at that. She had been contemplating words to confess her love for him. She wanted to tell him about Sahil and she had thought she will discuss with him how to delete the chapter of Sahil from her life.
But here, he wanted to shed her off from his life. As if she was an unwanted pushy floozie who would spend the weekend with him and force him to take the commitment to a higher level and make him promise the ‘ring’ to her. Of course, she wanted that. But was she going to accept the rejection? Or his awkwardness? Or perhaps, both??
She swallowed her pride, put on a fake smile on her pretty lips and replied, “Yes. Definitely! I promise.”
He sighed. These might be last few hours that they were this close to each other, but he decided not to waste them on mulling over what couldn’t be achieved. She was and will always be precious to him and he decided that he will take care of her feelings and wishes. Even if she wanted them, just as friends.
He curled his arms around her shoulders and gave her a fleeting peck on her forehead. She smiled and touched his cheek softly with the flat of her palm, unable to remove her eyes from his face. She was back to admiring his facial features under the full moon as he sat with his eyes closed.
He was so good to look at. Amazing, sharp features. Chiseled jawline with a rasp one-day-old stubble. A kid-like vulnerability in his eyes. Soft lips. The worst part – He knew all this. Damn!!!
Whatever the outcome emotionally, it was a great time physically for both of them.Maybe that was what destiny had in store for them, each thought. Maybe, a weekend of being this close to the person they loved so much. Whatever the results, it had been something that they would never forget for their entire lives, they knew this. It had been a memorable weekend, a time to cherish forever… and it was a beautiful date… nevertheless…
Him, her & love… flowing under the moonlight!