She poured him a stiff one on the rocks, and some overflowing on to the table. "It's rather hot today," she said, offering him the frosted glass with some gold liquid in it.
He pulled down his tie as if on cue, responding to the two buttons of her shirt, which she had unbuttoned. Hot it was. She was making it worse. This woman knew a man's anticipation. He took the glass gratefully, sipped, and drunk in the luscious sight of her. She was beautiful.
"Thanks for fixing this meeting," he mumbled. His senses were fixed on her. Her slender frame, smooth skin, those peeking thighs that taunted, those arms he wanted, her copper-streaked hair. It wasn't the whiskey yet; he was high on her. She walked up to him and sat close, their legs almost brushing.
"Oh, don't be formal, love," she said, "It is, after all, our anniversary."
He smiled weakly. They had been divorced for nearly three years now. But she had refused to vacate a very special place in his heart. Three years. It seemed like a blur. Life was never the same without her. Her vivaciousness, her bold charm. They were madly in love, until their marriage could bear their careers no more. He missed her. But he never acknowledged that. Tonight was different though. "Do you miss me?" he asked, shuffling closer. He was surprised at his own words. Was it the whiskey or her... He was falling, failing too fast for his liking. She just sat there, taking it in.
"I miss being constantly told how desirable I am by a man, who had me every night," she said.
"You are...," he started.
"I know," she cut him off, "but is she desirable?"
"The problem is always the same, honey. They are not you," he whispered, drilling his gaze on her. He held her hand. It felt the same. Tender. A slight shiver ran down his spine. "They can never be you."
She walked up behind him, slid her hands inside his shirt, rested her face on his broad back and said, "You haven't lost touch." A single tear rolled down her cheek.
"Three years, baby. This fire, all this fire, and no you," he said, "I've missed you like hell." He took a deep breath and pulled her closer into a tight embrace. Tonight there would be no inhibitions, no pretensions. He kissed her. Those lips still tasted sweet and warm. He thought peaches. Vintage her. He wanted her. He didn't care.
She half returned his kiss. Then, "No." She broke away. The pain had been too great to want it again. "We mustn't... I shouldn't have called you here," she said.
"Shhh...!" he said, and kissed her some more. "I'll go away again... just not yet," he said, undoing the zipper down her back. "I've missed this, love. I've missed you", his voice quivered, as pulled down her bra strap over her shoulder, and put his lips to her shoulder. His lips sizzled. She was perfect. He wasn't going to forget this couch in a hurry. She pulled off his shirt. It was lust and abandon like when they had first made love, except they now knew what they wanted and how to offer it. She ran her fingers through his hair, and led him towards the couch. The small table fell off, as they bumped into it, and so did the half full glass, breaking.
She let him consume her, she let herself consume him. Passions danced, bodies writhed, time flew. The stars gave way to the sun, and the soft morning light bathed the reunited lovers. He stroked her cheek, as she opened her eyes.
"I'm glad you came. I don't have much time left," she said. "I'm flying off to the US this afternoon. That's where Sunil wants to shift base. He has always wanted to..." she trailed off. She couldn't bear to look in his eyes. She got out of bed with a reluctant urgency. Her clothes lay scattered around the room, and his thoughts equally so.
"Uh...you mean..", he stopped short, lit a cigarette and just lay there naked.
"I remarried; yes," she said, avoiding his gaze. The way he had held her all night told her he hadn't been able to let go. "But I needed to know if I could truly leave here, without any strings attached."
"And?" he asked as nonchalantly as he could manage, letting out a puff.
"And I have my answer. Too many effing strings," she said wistfully. Their divorce was an ugly fact they had never really come to terms with. They were only lawfully out of each other lives. "I could never let you go. I can't. It's a funny game, this. Still carry your pic in my wallet, still want your arms around me more than anything else when I'm low," she said.
He turned his moist eyes away from her, as he put on his clothes. His phone buzzed. It was his wife. "Hi honey... yeah, the flight was good... I'll be headed to the meeting in some time," he said softly into the phone.
She dressed up too, in silence, and dialed room service. The broken pieces needed to be picked up. She put back the receiver, and observed simply, "You're married too. I needn't carry the cross of guilt alone," she added, planting another kiss on his forehead, and buttoning his shirt, just like before.
"Some things never change. Perhaps some bridges are best not burned," he said, and flashed a broad, sad smile.
She smiled back, as if at an internal joke. "Where do we go from here?" she asked matter-of-factly.
He took a deep breath. "If you could, somehow, for some reason, for one reason, miss your flight, I would do away with all your dummies in my life," he said softly.
Was she hearing him right? It was an incredulous line, coming from him. But so was this moment. Her mind whirred so loud, it almost made noises. Things were moving too fast, too awry, too perfect.
"Are you crazy?" she said, and laughed.
"Never saner. Wanna run away?" he offered.
She picked up her phone and switched it off. Sunil would never know where to find her.
"I do," she said; one more time.
(Co-written with Nikhil Deshmukh @red_devil22)