Maya didn’t stop walking. Nor did she turn or give him any indication that she’d heard him. She just kept moving, as fast as she could, away from him.
“Maya.” Irritated, Yash caught her arm at the elbow, halting her headlong rush just as they turned a corner of the house and out of sight of the bonfire crowd.
The sudden jerk of his hand caused her weak leg to give out under her and she stumbled, hissing in pain.
Shit! Yash pulled his hand back immediately, feeling like the ass he’d behaved like.
“I am so sorry,” he said, leaning forward to help her regain her balance.
Maya swatted his hand away and got to her feet on her own steam. Her cheeks flushed, her chest heaving with the force of her emotions, she tossed her hair away from her face and looked at him.
All these years later, her beauty still took his breath away. Yash rubbed his chest, a silent gesture to try and soothe his aching heart.
“What do you want?” she asked, crossing her arms in front of her. If he knew her, she was probably suppressing the urge to flip him off again.
“I want to talk to you,” he said, leaning against the wall of the house behind him. From the distance, muted laughter floated back to them but here, in this moment, they were in a secluded bubble of their own.
“We don’t have anything to say to each other,” she tossed back, her angry eyes spitting darts at him.
Yash wasn’t so sure about that. He thought they had a lot to say to each other. She especially had a lot to answer for. She’d called off their engagement without even an explanation!
He shook it off. This wasn’t about them. This was about his friend. This was about Yash being a good friend.
“I don’t know what the hell you and your friends are planning but please let the Thakkar family mourn in peace. For the duration of this weekend, just keep your heads down, don’t create any scenes and leave peacefully the minute this is over.”
Maya stared at him, an inscrutable look on her face. And then she started to laugh. She clutched her stomach, tears streaming down her face as she laughed and laughed. Yash’s confusion grew as he watched, as did his anger.
“What’s so funny?” he asked. “I’m not joking. Aakash told me all about you lot and the kind of shit you get up to. Keep all of that out of this weekend and away from any member of their family. They don’t need it, alright? You’ve already taken one family member from them. Let’s not ruin another.”
Even before the last word escaped his lips, shame swamped Yash in a tidal wave. What had he said? Shit!
Vikram’s death had been an accident. Everyone knew that. The car’s tyre had burst. A freak accident that no one could have predicted. And no matter what their group had gotten up to earlier that night, there was no doubt that Vikram had been a full and willing participant. Aakash may find it hard to think beyond his grief but surely Yash was better than that?
Maya’s laughter stopped like he’d slapped her. And in some ways, he supposed he had. He opened his mouth to apologise but nothing came out.
They stared at each other in the enveloping darkness of the night. The only light, a dim yellow glow from the rear verandah of the house.
“So no orgies then?” she asked, huskily.
The word sent a jolt of desire through him as he stared at her lovely profile encased in that soft, faded yellow light.
“Not funny,” he said, his voice hoarse.
“Who’s joking?” She lifted her delicate shoulders in a tiny shrug. “We weren’t planning to invite any of you fuddy duddies of course.” She wrinkled her nose at him. “It’s not like you lot would be any fun in bed.”
His eyes dipped to her lips as she spoke, her words painting painfully arousing images in his head.
“Stop it, Maya.”
She pouted, one long finger reaching up to trace the low v neck of his soft, white kurta. Her nail scraped through the hair peeking out, sending arrows of heat shooting through him.
She brought her mouth close to his ear and whispered, “What if we promise to be very, very quiet?”
The hair on the back of Yash’s neck stood up even as his eyes fluttered close without volition.
“So quiet, that you wouldn’t even know that in my head I would be screaming as I came, as orgasm after orgasm rolled through me…”