The mysterious stranger is back and this time, he is more wicked! A sneak peek into Novoneel Chakraborty’s ‘All Yours, Stranger’.

800X200 All Yours Stranger optn (1)

The photograph of love is sometimes so big that you can’t fit it into the frame of your relationship. If you force it, you are sure to lose some of it. Maybe most of it.

Sitting at the bar, Rivanah watched as her boyfriend Danny danced with the ‘other’ girl in a close embrace. Rivanah had promised herself she wouldn’t drink since the next day was Monday and Monday-morning hangovers made her feel the world was conspiring to bring her down. Minutes back the three of them had been sitting on a couch. It was when Rivanah had stood up to get her Virgin Mojito refilled that the ‘other’ girl Nitya had asked, ‘May I ask your boyfriend for a dance?’ Rivanah had given her a tight smile of acknowledgement.

Nitya was one of those people you could never be ‘friends’ with and there was no reason why. But Rivanah couldn’t afford to be indifferent to her because Nitya was her boyfriend’s best friend. On other days, Rivanah neither liked nor disliked Nitya but she hated her whenever she started a statement with ‘May I ask your boyfriend for . . . ?’ Why this seeking of permission? To Rivanah, it always sounded as if the statement was gravid with a hidden taunt for her to decipher. As if Nitya would have left Danny alone had Rivanah said no. As if Danny too would have said no to Nitya if Rivanah had said no. Rivanah would have skipped accompanying them to the nightclub but today was Nitya’s birthday and Danny had requested Rivanah to join them. As usual she couldn’t say no to Danny and now she was sitting at the bar, like a loser, watching her boyfriend and his best friend groove to the latest chartbuster.

‘Absolut,’ Rivanah said to the bartender instead of asking for a refill of her Virgin Mojito. The bartender was quick to serve her and she was quicker to gulp it. She noticed Danny flash a smile at her (did he?) and then his face was turned the other way by his best friend. Have they slept behind her back? Rivanah was ashamed of asking herself this question but it was not the first time she was doing so. There were questions she could never answer. Questions about loyalty, trust and infidelity in a relationship. If love was really no contract then how does cheating come into being? Or was love an unsaid emotional contract after all? She gulped three more shots of Absolut and ordered the fourth, turning her face spitefully away from the ‘best friends’.

‘You remind me of someone.’ Rivanah turned her head to see an insanely handsome man standing behind her. No such man should happen to a girl when she is emotionally vulnerable, she thought. The handsome guy was leaning sideways on the bar, looking obliquely at her: dark complexioned, clean-shaven, clear jawline, sharp nose, thin lips and deep eyes. Rivanah flashed an abrupt smile which she knew was timed all wrong. A smiling girl emboldens a guy like nothing else. She should have given him a you-talking-to-me glance instead, or better still, no reaction at all.

‘Your smile confirms that you indeed are that girl,’ the guy said.

‘Now you’ll say my voice seals it.’ The vodka was clearly getting to her head.

‘Not if you let me buy you the next drink.’ The way his smile redesigned his face took his desirability quotient to temptation level.
‘I’ve already had enough,’ she said.

‘For tonight, let’s presume enough isn’t enough.’ In the next breath, he called for another drink for her.

In a kinky way, pushy men turned Rivanah on, especially when she was a few vodka shots down. This was one major difference between her former boyfriend Ekansh and Danny: Ekansh would decide for her while the latter would always let her have her way without batting an eyelid. Even now if she stood and flirted with Mr Handsome, she was sure Danny would only smile at her. If it were Ekansh . . . well, she wouldn’t have been in the nightclub in the first place.

‘Do you always think and speak?’ the guy asked.

Huh?’ Before she came across as a dumb person, Rivanah blurted out, ‘One more shot and then we hit the floor.’
‘Sounds like a plan.’

A minute later the two were grooving to the same number which, minutes back, had irked Rivanah because Nitya and Danny had been dancing to it. She did glance towards them but, as expected, her boyfriend’s thumbs-up gesture told her he was happy she too had got someone to dance with. One shouldn’t be this open-minded, Rivanah told herself, feeling the handsome guy’s hands tightening around her waist. With Danny only a few feet away, Rivanah felt uncomfortable with the man’s proximity to her, but the disgust triggered in her by Danny’s desire to be with Nitya instead of her didn’t let the feeling of discomfort last for long. To distract her mind from Danny, she focused on the handsome guy who, she now knew, was looking at her the way a predator looks at a prey. It aroused her.

The handsome guy came close to her and spoke softly into her ears, ‘How about we take a stroll outside?’ His breath tickled her ears. Rivanah looked at him and nodded. She could do with some fresh air. She didn’t care to glance at Danny before stepping out.

The cacophony of the nightclub suddenly vanished the moment they stepped out.

‘Do you believe in magic?’ the guy asked.

Rivanah thought he was trying to be funny and that she was supposed to laugh. Then she found herself nodding.
‘Want to see some now?’

Rivanah nodded again. He smiled at her mischievously and stood facing her. Then slowly he started retreating, one step at a time.

‘What are you doing?’ she gasped, not knowing what to expect next.

‘Wait. And watch.’

Like a teenager, Rivanah waited for some magic trick to unfold itself while watching the handsome guy disappear into the darkness. Then she realized she didn’t even know his name. She called out to him only to feel a tap on her back. Rivanah turned in a flash to see the handsome guy standing right behind her, still smiling mischievously.

‘What the fuck!’ She turned to look at the other end where he had disappeared seconds back and then again at him standing in front of her. She had no clue how he had come behind her so quickly.

‘How did you manage to do that?’

‘Magic!’ the handsome guy said, raising both his hands animatedly in the air.
‘Want to see me do it again?’

Rivanah nodded, this time confident she would catch him in the act. The guy yet again started walking backwards from where he stood. Rivanah took a few steps forward, curious to know if there was a shortcut or something but once he disappeared at a distance she knew there was no way he could come up behind her— not this quick. Rivanah kept looking either way eagerly. Half a minute later the handsome guy appeared neither from behind her nor from front, but—to her shock—from inside the nightclub.

‘Holy shit!’ Rivanah exclaimed.

The guy came up to her and said in a naughty tone, ‘I know far more pleasurable magic tricks. Want to give them a try?’

Rivanah knew what he was hinting at: a one-night stand. Something she had never done earlier while involved with Ekansh or Danny. An Audi appeared from nowhere and stopped right in front of her. The front window slowly rolled down. Rivanah bent down to look inside. The same handsome guy who was standing beside her was behind the steering wheel and was also sitting in one of the back seats. How is that possible? Before she could decipher if she was hallucinating, Rivanah felt a pair of hands grabbing her from behind. In no time she was bundled into the car by the guy standing beside her. Rivanah found herself sandwiched between the two similar-looking guys while the third drove the Audi.

They were fucking triplets! That seemed like the only plausible explanation. She tried shouting only to have a hand press her mouth with force. The car was speeding away on the lonely road as she heard the guys tell each other to get her under control. The one who was driving had already switched on some music at top volume to mute her cries. Rivanah was throwing her legs and hands at them in desperation. One of the guys held her hands, while the other held her legs. She tried to move but couldn’t. She shouted but it didn’t matter. She could now see the two guys looking at her with a sadistic smile. As if her struggle was giving them a kick. Would she able to break free before it was too late? Or was this a nightmare like the ones she had had before? The lusty stares the guys gave her told her otherwise. She felt the will to fight slowly slip away from the grasp of her conscious.

And then the car suddenly came to a halt, throwing everyone in the back seat off balance. The guys beside Rivanah took their hands off her and sat still. Everyone in the car looked out ahead through the windshield. The triplets’ faces paled one by one while a bright smile appeared on Rivanah’s face. Someone was waiting right in front. Rivanah knew well who this someone could be. He hasn’t forgotten me after all, Rivanah thought, feeling relieved. Only she knew how much she had missed him all these days . . .

______

Pre-order Novoneel Chakraborty’s ‘All Yours, Stranger’ here :http://amzn.to/1I98OuA

______

Advertisements
The Penguin India Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s