Randhir loosened the crimson silk necktie, a gift from his wife for their previous anniversary and brushed a speck of dust that attempted to ruin his tuxedo from Armani. He glanced around, taking in the beauty of the Maharaja suite. A contented sigh escaped his lips, but he abhorred immersing in a memory slide.
Everything looked impeccable. Randhir aimed to impress his guest. He watched her sashay towards him as he caressed the soft velvety bulge ensconced within the satin lining of the tuxedo. She gazed at the fragrant lilies placed on the antique console table. Checking her reflection on the ivory mirror, she smoothened the creases of her chiffon blouse and bent her head to inhale the heady scent of her favourite bloom.
He gestured her to sit. She sank on the sheepskin couch, gazing at the ‘Raja Ravi Varma’ painting on the wall. The yellow light of the crystal chandelier dappled tear drops pattern. She crossed her legs, and her skirt rode further up, revealing unblemished skin. Randhir swallowed and cleared his throat.
“So, are you OK with the arrangements?”
“Purrfect.” She purred and slid her hands towards him. “Oh, Randy.”
Randhir puckered his face. This was not his first rodeo. The girls were not supposed to jump into the act- a protocol had to be followed.
He dared not explain it to her.
Randy rose, lifted the blinds, and glanced outside. He always preferred the suite that faced the hotel entrance. At least the bevvy of activity would be intriguing if the partner wasn’t.
She checked the label on the bottle, poured a little in a pink-hued stem glass, swirled it gently, sniffed and tasted it. Satisfied, she tipped it into two glasses. Planting a kiss on his shoulders, she extended the crystal glass. He yanked her towards him; a patch spread on her white blouse.
“How clumsy of me. Do wash the fabric before the stain clings.”
She reluctantly opened the washroom. The fragrance of coconut and vanilla cloaked the redolence of lilies. Then unclipping the buttons of her stained blouse, she rinsed it under the gold-plated faucet. The burgundy stained the marble bowl. Unzipping the leather skirt, she admired the azure lingerie, a lacy mesh. A delicate thrill surged in her heart. She tugged the magenta fleece bathrobe from the peg and snuggled into it. Tying the satin sash, she giggled like a schoolgirl.
Randhir cut a Shah Rukh Khan pose, with arms spread wide. The velvet box clenched in his right fist, and a red rose between his teeth.
A clutter of shoes filled the corridor. He heard muffled voices.
Incessant banging on the door compelled him to abandon his stance and open the door. The men in uniform barged into the room.
“You are under arrest. We have been following you for months, scoundrel. Misleading innocent girls with your Sugar Daddy promises. Where is your prey?”
She chose the exact moment to emerge from the washroom. Humming a melody, she announced, “Ta-da.”
Her jaw refused to clamp. Beads of sweat lined above her lips. Hugging her robe tighter and chewing her lower lip, she hid behind her husband. Randhir flushed like a beet. Thoughts of how his careful assignations could fall under the scrutiny of the police congealed in his mind. He wished to show his clout but held back the words that tried to flee his grip. Then sporting a Cheshire grin, he addressed the officer.
“Inspector, is it a crime to celebrate a wedding anniversary in a hotel room? You have scared my wife.”
A buzz of voices filled the room. The senior official amongst them took charge. He wondered how he would handle the misstep and what awaited him back at the station. He was in line for a promotion, and a lapse at this stage would jeopardise it.
“Sir, there seems to be some confusion here. Would you show me your identity cards? Madam, sorry to bother you. Are you carrying your ID with you?”
Ruby, like a rabbit caught in the spotlight, stared unblinkingly. She cowered behind Randhir, hoping he had carried hers as well. How could she carry such things that did not gel with her sexy outfit, which he had insisted on wearing!
Randhir pulled his wallet, the velvet box tumbled out, revealing the exquisite sapphire ring studded with diamonds. His surprise spoilt, Randhir lost his cool. He resisted flinging his driving licence and her Adhaar card he had taken earlier to arrange the hotel booking.
The officer checked their identity cards. The picture in the Adhaar card did not do justice to the beauty standing before him in magenta.
“Sorry for the confusion. Enjoy your anniversary. Please don’t take this matter to the top. Deeply sorry.” The officer marched out with his platoon of buffoons.
With the gate crashers out of the way, Randhir shut the door and clutched his wife of 10 years. A smirk spread on his face. His brain whirred with brilliance. An idea sprouted in his mind – a website that would legalise the stirrings of the Sugar Daddies and Sugar Mommies. As a stalker of passion, he believed he was the right man for the job – No need for clandestine affairs, life could be a never-ending honeymoon!
“What was all that? What are you so smug about?” Ruby, shaken by the misadventure, glugged a glass of wine. Her apprehension shrank.
Randhir sat Ruby on his lap and nuzzled her nape. He stretched his hand to the table, unclasped the box and slipped the Sapphire ring on her finger. Ruby turned to face him and brushed her lips on the bridge of his nose.
He unravelled his gift, tugging at the satin sash. Gathering her up in his arms, they entwined like creepers.
In her ears, he drawled, “Not all storms come to disrupt your life; some come to clear your paths.”