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This is a short, sweet,interesting story. I was surprisingly educated and equally entertained throughout. Sid did a fantastic job!
– Diverse Reader
I don’t know if it was the way it was written or the connection I felt to the content, but in some ways this felt less a fictional story to me, and more like I was being related a tale by two very real people.
– Goodreads Reader
Sid Love weaves a very romantic story in an exotic locale about two unlikely people.
– Author W.S. Long
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Goa wasn’t supposed to be one of the stops on Damon’s itinerary in India. It was a mere substitution for his big plans of visiting his sister in Paris for the holidays. But his boss, Mr. Boyles, ruined it all for him. He arranged an urgent visit for Damon to tend to all the system upgrades they needed for the company’s offshore units. It couldn’t wait until after the New Year’s Eve, it seemed, and Damon was too good to say no. Moreover, he wanted that promotion his boss promised him. So, he came fixed up in a tight schedule that kept him occupied twenty-four-seven, except for the week off he did get. And that’s when he settled for Goa in order to relieve his stress. The place came highly recommended from the coworkers of his Mumbai offshore unit, where he’d last visited. Next week, he’d be in Delhi, back to his normal routine.
Which was why he’d decided to get the most out of this vacation.
Damon liked the place, he really did. But he could definitely do with some company. He frequently wondered how it would have been if he’d been in Paris with Tammy and her little kid (if only he could remember the brat’s name) and the thoughts depressed him.
It was ninety degrees out in the open and the fabric of Damon’s t-shirt clung to his sweaty skin. Thankfully, he’d been sensible enough to put on a good amount of sunscreen before he got out of his room, or he’d have suffered with terrible sunburn. He took a few more pictures of the beaches and some hot Indian men flaunting their manhood through their wet underwear, before he retired into an open-air restaurant nearby. He’d missed the breakfast that morning and his stomach began to growl. He ran through the menu, coming across many dishes he’d never tasted. “Erm… what is this?” he asked about different dishes that intrigued him. Luckily, his waiter was both patient and polite, and cheerfully answered all his questions. Finally, he settled on a dish with prawns and a cilantro risotto, along with a glass of red wine.
The air-conditioned restaurant was calming his burning skin down and the sea-facing view through the window adjacent to his table was phenomenal. He smiled to himself. The place wasn’t bad at all, he decided.
Damon’s wine arrived speedily and he thanked the dark-skinned waiter with a nod. He took a sip from his glass and shivered as the alcohol ran down his dry throat. The taste was so good, he drank again before setting the glass down. He grabbed his camera and began to survey all the pictures he had taken. There were some really well-caught snaps and some particularly bad pictures, which he instantly deleted. He decided to send the good ones to Tammy.
“I am so jealous of you right now, li’l brother,” she said when he’d called her to tell her about the change of plans a month back. “India! I’ve been dying to go to India. Lucky, you get to spend your holidays there.”
Lucky? I don’t know about that. He snorted to himself.
His empty wine glass was refilled, but his food hadn’t arrived yet. The waiter assured him in his broken English that it would be out soon. Damon sighed and continued going through his pictures. Then he remembered he’d to make a call to his boss back in California, but he’d been stupid enough to have left the phone in his hotel room.
A movement at the table next to his caught his attention, and he saw a man and a woman settling in their seats opposite each other. The lady wore an Indian saree, its bright colors a pleasing contrast to the long, dark hair that cascaded down her back. She spoke with sparkling vivacity to her companion in a language Damon didn’t recognize. He was familiar with Hindi a bit, and he was ready to bet she wasn’t talking in the commonly known language.
His gaze shifted from her to the man listening to her with a sweet smile on his face. He responded only at certain intervals, while his eyes surveyed the menu. Damon stared at him shamelessly. It was probably the smile that swept him off his feet. There was something about the way those tiny lips curled up and brought a twinkle in his dark brown eyes. The naturally flawless, olive-toned skin adorned the man’s cute heart-shaped face, and brought on an urge to kiss his cheeks. He wore a beige button-down shirt with its sleeves folded up half way, over a black pair of pants. The clothes perfectly fit his athletic build and Damon couldn’t help his imagination running wild.
The waiter came back with his food, blocking his view, much to Damon’s annoyance. He cast an irritated glare at the man before gazing down at his food. It looked delicious – as delicious as the cute smiling guy. Damn! He was drooling now.
Damon flushed and tried not to look again to see what was happening at the next table – if only his determination was as strong as the temptation of the eye-candy… He kept stealing glances and for a moment, he thought he saw the man looking back at him. A chill passed through his bones and quickly he averted his eyes. ‘To distract himself he ate a forkful of risotto, then reached for his wine. From the rim of the glass, he peeped again. The cute smiling guy wasn’t looking anymore. He didn’t know why this saddened him so much.
The saree-clad lady held her companion’s hand over the table, speaking shyly to him. His smile widened to show his teeth. Damon stared at their joined hands and saw him caressing hers slightly.
Me and my stupid crushes on unavailable men… Damon thought, furious with himself.
The combination of the extremely spicy gravy with the prawns, and the cute smiling guy kissing her hand, caused him to choke. His tongue burned, his lips prickled, his teeth threatened to fall out … Why did I order something I couldn’t handle? He fervently snatched the glass of water and drank like he’d been thirsty for years. Next, he drained the wine glass. And the insides of his mouth still burned. His eyes watered as he desperately looked for the waiter to ask for more water, making sounds of a stressed dog panting with his tongue out.
“… this,” a voice said urgently, and a glass of water was offered. He took it with no questions asked and downed it. He looked up to find the man with the cute smile standing by his table. “More?”
Yes, please! He shook his head instead. The sight of the man was enough to soothe him. His mouth was still on fire and he aired his tongue with his hands. “Woof! Agh … That was a thrilling adventure.” He blinked several times, laughing. “Thanks man, I owe you big time.”
“Don’t mention it.” He smiled and Damon’s bones melted. “Eat some rice. It will make you feel better.”
Damon nodded gratefully and watched him go back to his table. The woman was looking in his direction as well and gave a cheerful smile. The man was right about the rice, he discovered, so he ate some of the risotto and the burning sensation went away with each bite he took. Damon didn’t touch the spicy gravy after that.
From the corner of his eyes, he spied on the couple as they shared their food, occasionally eating from each other’s dishes. Once Damon was done, he asked the server to treat the couple to the best dessert they had on their menu, and requested it be charged to him. He stayed back a while even after he’d paid for everything. It was amazing to see the man’s face light up in surprise when the dessert was brought to their table. The server pointed toward Damon’s table, probably telling them about it. The couple looked at him with huge grins on their faces, as he stood up to leave.
“Thank you, but why did you …?”
But Damon waved it off, anxious to get out of the room. “It was my way to say thank you for being so kind to me.” He smiled back at them and saw the attractive man nod in appreciation. He turned, feeling his face flush. That voice … that tantalizing, deep, velvety voice …
Damon would never get that voice out of his mind, that was for sure. The Indian accent in which he’d spoken was so sexy, it had given Damon an instant boner. What was worse, he yearned to listen to that voice again and again.