“Yes, you can come over by 12:15; I value my time and expect you to meet in 3 hours from now,” Shalini said on the phone looking out of her 12th floor’s office window.
“Thank you for your time and agreeing to meet me in the last minute, Mrs. Khanna” answered a husky voice.
“Shalini or Miss. Taneja please.” She said looking at the clock with a vague disdain.
“Very well, Miss. Taneja! See you in 2 hours.”
Shalini Taneja, one of the best attorneys in the city, sharpest and smartest in her art. Her name and reputation speak volumes about her work associations. Listed as top corporate lawyers in the country at this young age is an achievement in itself. What looks grandiose from the outside often has many hidden layers; the same is with Shalini’s life.
Her marriage with college sweetheart ended on a bitter-sweet allegations game a few years ago. Bitter as she expected him to understand her life, reasons, and priorities. Sweet because she is free from pretentious life after years of accommodating.
“Shalini, you have an appointment with Saxons Co. founders in 15,” said Leena her secretary cum confidante. She nodded looking at her rose-gold watch gifted by Khetan Sir on her first mammoth win against Miller Coal Mines.
The case that jiggled everyone from the political to economical corridors of this country. The Miller V/s State case brought her from the shadows of Mr. Khatan Daruwala to a front runner legal eagle.
She finished meeting Saxons founding members when Leena gestured towards her watch, a reminder of an upcoming meeting at 12:15 pm. She has never seen Shalini giving appointments to anyone without following the due protocol. This dog-marked entry with no name made her curious to learn about the client.
At 12:10 a tall figure in a grey sleek suave suit walks into the reception and hands over his business card. Carla the receptionist takes a long look at this fetching sharp face smiling back at her, and dials for Leena to inform about the arrival of the next client.
“Please be seated Mr. Kumar, Leena will be here shortly,” Carla said ogling him. ‘He looks like Hrithik Roshan, no-no like Bradly Cooper!’ she thought while smiling at the man sitting in front of her.
Leena was there immediately and took him inside the meeting room. “I am Leena Francis, Mr. Kumar I will take you through the procedures and policies before taking up the next course of discussions with Shalini.” She explained to him, even she was fazed by his suaveness and chauvinism. ‘Who the hell is this man,’ she thought while handing him some documents to read and sign.
She asked him to wait for a few moments before Shalini takes over. He looked around the office, a regular office with some expensive artifacts and a dozen award/winning memorabilia. The upholstery was rich but lacks taste he thought.
An old photograph rather piqued his interest, Mr. Daruwala and his associates all in one frame (one of them was his late father). He was deeply involved in the framed picture when the door swung open and Shalini walked in.
She is an attractive woman is in her early 40s, her sharp features and wavy hair doesn’t tell-a-tale her age. Her plum skirt dress and black peep-toes match with the mahogany furnishings of the room. What a disaster of beauty he thought.
She looks dangerous, like a woman on a mission, “Hello Mr. Kumar, I am Shalini Taneja, how can I help you?” straight to the point.
“Please call me Samar and thank you for meeting me in such a short time.” Samar Kumar is the personification of Indian brain-drain, the best interior designer that India could have, but lost to Spain. He is the only son of one of the founding members of Daruwala & Associates, firm Shalini is handed over to run as Mr. Daruwala’s successor. It was Ketan Daruwala who asked Shalini to meet Samar as soon as possible to help him out with some legal advice.
They discussed the case in length and breadth, Samar was amazed by the command on her game. Ketan uncle was right about her – sharp and blunt!
“So, it’s sorted. Let’s wait until you get a reply from the party, we will discuss the next course after that.” She said taking a long breath to release work-stress.
“This means, I get another chance to meet you, isn’t it?” blurted Samar. She was surprised by this flirty line. It’s been ages since anyone said remotely inviting to her as if the world lost its color after her divorce or did she let life slip away for no reason?
She smiled and buzzed for some refreshments, “Could you please send double espresso for me, would you like to have something Samar?”
“Not today, Thanks! May be some other time when we are not confined in plums and red hues”, he circled the room in one stretched look and come to rest at Shalini. She suddenly felt uncomfortable in her seat and plum skirt dress.
After Samar was gone, Shalini checked out her reflection in the life-size mirror hung in the corridor. Tracing her sleek fingers through hair, cheeks and then to neck when Leena came by – “What’s wrong! Are you okay?”
Shalini straightened her skirt and said, “Yeah, I am fine. Come in my room; let’s get back to some work.” Thanks to the poker face she mastered over the years of a failed marriage, no one can tell what’s happening behind this appealing face.
Thank you for your love and appreciation for this series. I am overwhelmed with the comments and messages over the last two stories. This is my first attempt at romantic fiction and I am looking forward to bringing some more ‘lovey-dovey’ for binge reading.
A – Altering Ego.
B – Bits and Pieces.
Come back tomorrow for the next part of this love story. The post is written as part of #A2ZChallenge & #BlogchatterA2Z.
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