Read the First Part here
After that, all I could think about was how to see more of Vasu. Work carried on, but my private life was spent wondering how to get Vasu to myself, outside the rigors of office transport. He was not likely to spend his time off with me: he had already told me that he spent what little time he had off with his family. That was the way here, and I wasn’t going to keep him from his family. His parents both had diabetes and struggled with health. It reminded me all too painfully of my own parents.
The only thing I could think of was to hire him for weekend excursions in and around Bangalore. It would give me the time I wanted to spend with him and give him money towards the loan that was always looming in his mind.
I broached the subject by asking him for suggestions for weekend getaways, places people tired of office stress could go to relax. He suggested a few spas and resorts, and I planned for one.
But when we reached the spa, he immediately said he would park the car in the lot which was several meters from the welcome centre, and that I should message him if I needed anything.
This was not going to help!
The next outing was a resort about one hour’s drive in Bangalore’s traffic from where I lived. When he tried to drop me at the welcome centre, I held up my hand. “Come in with me,” I requested. “I don’t want you to have to sit in the hot car.”
“Sir,” he started to say.
“Scott,” I reminded him. I had been trying to get him to call me by name. Formality was ingrained in him, but he had finally started calling me Scott. Except when a situation spiked alarm in him. He seemed uncomfortable to join me in the resort. He said the other drivers in the car park would talk about it.
I understood all too well what face and reputation meant to many people. I had briefly dated a man named Ganesh from an office near mine who refused to be seen with me in public because he was afraid a relative would see him holding hands with a foreign man and report back to his parents.
Reluctantly, I let him drive to the lot and didn’t enjoy one minute of my day’s stay at that resort.
As we were driving home, I racked my brain over how I could get Vasu to come up to my flat and not just drop me and drive off. I had some light bulbs that needed changed. Would he believe that I needed his help to do such a trivial job?
When we neared my flat, I tried to find out. He looked at me in the rear-view mirror and bobbed his head. He would come up and help. As we rode the lift up to my flat, it was me now who wanted to fidget. For days, I had dreamed of this moment, and now that it was here, so much pressure had come with it. How to get him to stay without making him again feel the differences that always seemed to stand between us? How to explore that electricity I swear we had felt in that hotel weeks before? How to break a few more light bulbs without him catching on?
Once inside my flat, he stood looking around in his socked feet. The company pays for my flat, and it’s a nice one, open and sunny. He was appreciating the view from the front windows when I asked him if he wanted some water. He started to protest, but then conceded and accepted the glass from my outstretched hand. I invited him to sit on the chair, and I sat on the couch opposite him.
We made idle talk about the cost of the rent, the location and the neighbours. He was keen to learn if the neighbours were friendly with me, and I realized he wondered if they would ask me who he was after he left. I assured him that the neighbours never even spoke to me.
For a few minutes, we sat in silence, the traffic on the street below a dim cacophony and the birds in the tree outside the window making sweet music. Suddenly he seemed to break from a reverie and asked me about the light bulbs.
I looked at him, weighing if I should tell him I didn’t really want him to change light bulbs with what his reaction might be when he heard my subterfuge. He looked at me with such frank blue eyes that I hated to lie to him.
“You don’t need to change light bulbs,” I said, throwing all caution to the wind. “I mean, it’s just that I want to talk to you more than have you change light bulbs.”
Vasu didn’t answer me, his eyes drifting away from me while he sipped his water. He didn’t leave either, which I thought was a good sign. “What do you want to talk about?” he finally asked.
Indeed, I thought. Actually, it was less what I wanted to talk about that was the trouble and more if I dared to talk about it. I wanted to talk about the feeling I had when I looked into his eyes, how when our hands touched or our bodies contacted in passing, I felt an attraction which kept me awake at night. I wanted to tell him that I was not “sir” or an employer, but Scott and a potential…dare I say…lover?
Instead, I asked him how his family was and how his nephew was behaving these days, and the conversation stayed level, sharing about family, about weekend plans.
I got up to use the loo, and when I came back, Vasu was sitting on the couch. I hesitated just a fraction of a second before I sat next to him. Our thighs nearly touched – a breath away from each other. I could smell his sweat and hair oil. I don’t think I had ever been so close to him before. I started to speak.
He beat me to it, saying my name, just my name. His hand was on my thigh now. It felt like fire, and I was instantly aroused. I tried to turn away, not because I didn’t want his hand there, but because it was inches from my physical arousal.
“Scott.” He said my name again, his voice low, urging me to look at him. I did and lost all resolve to turn away. Those eyes were as beautiful to me as the first time I saw them. And his lips as full and achingly kissable as the first time I dreamed of kissing them.
But before I could make a move, his head fell back resting against the couch, and he closed his eyes. His hand was still on my thigh. He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing. For several minutes, we sat like this, his neck a smooth curve, his eyelashes fanning his cheekbones, those lips parted ever so slightly.
I compromised my desire and put my own head back. I closed my eyes. The traffic and bird song faded. I became aware of only his breath. The couch shifted. A weight fell across my lap.
I opened my eyes, and looked down. Vasu’s head was now where his hand had been. His eyes were still closed. His legs stretched out on the couch, one arm dangling over the side, resting on the floor, the other laying across his chest.
I reached down and pushed my fingers into his thick, dark hair. He didn’t stir. I traced the line of his cheeks with my fingertip, smoothed his brows, lightly touched each eyelid. He didn’t stir. I could feel the beginnings of stubble on his cheeks. I touched his broad nose. I dared to touch his lips. They were soft and warm. He still didn’t stir. I let my hand fall to his chest, inches from his own, and put my head on the back of the couch. My eyes drifted shut.
When I woke, it was dark in the room, and Vasu was sitting up, grunting with stiffness from lying in one place for a long time. He stretched loudly, his hands arms above his head and his shirt creeping up to reveal his stomach in the dim.
I switched on a light, and he rose, stepping around my legs, to go to the loo. When he came out, he gathered his mobile and keys from the table. I stood up, watching him.
“I never changed the light bulbs,” he said, looking around. His eyes settled on me. Something subtle has shifted in the relationship between us, and his smile brought warmth to every part of me. “I’ll do it next time,” he said, heading for the door.
I saw him out the door. He wanted there to be a next time!