She sank down into one of the chairs, staring blankly at the card, seeing its owner in her mind’s eye. Anil Kumar was a native, true, but clearly a gentleman. His clothing, even when wet, showed signs of custom tailoring. Perhaps ten years older than she and Jon, he had a regal bearing and a face both comely and intelligent. Heavy eyebrows arched over deep eyes the colour of teakwood. His high forehead was crowned by lush black hair, cut neatly but with a tendency to curl. His long, straight nose and square chin were balanced by a set of lips full enough to belong to a woman.
A handsome man, yes, but more than the sum of his parts. Even in their brief interaction, Priscilla had sensed something, some energy or life in him that made him doubly appealing. He exuded confidence but without a trace of arrogance. The English had learned the hard way to be wary of the natives. Nevertheless, Priscilla could not help trusting Anil Kumar.
She heard the squeak of the door, looked up and caught her breath. It was Kumar returning. He was dressed all in white, in loose cotton trousers and a gauzy kurta that bared his throat. A gold amulet hung around his neck. His skin seemed darker, his face more exotic. Priscilla was reminded of the statues of Krishna she and Jonathan had seen in Calcutta, on their way to the plantation. Her heartbeat surged. Wet heat gathered between her legs. Before, he had looked like a gentleman. Now, he seemed a god.
“Please forgive my state of undress, Mrs. Archer, but I’m afraid that these are the only garments I have with me that are not soaked through. Your maid has kindly taken my suit for cleaning. As soon as it is dry, I will dress myself more appropriately. Meanwhile, I hope that I do not offend your sensibilities.”
“Not at all,” Priscilla waved off the concern with a smile. He certainly affected her sensibilities, but she was far from offended. “We all have to muddle along during this infernal rainy season. It’s difficult to imagine being completely dry.”
“Ah, but the monsoon is a blessing from the Mother Goddess. Without it, all India would starve.”
“Yes, I’m sure that you are right. It’s just hard for me to imagine living with this for another three months.”
Anil leaned toward her, his face earnest. Priscilla caught a hint of sandalwood essence wafting from his warm skin. A wave of dizziness swept over her. “It must be difficult for you, being so far from your home. I think, though, that if you will allow yourself to do so, you will come to love India.”
Priscilla struggled to control her physical reactions, “Perhaps. Certainly, the rain is very beautiful. It softens the rough edges and makes everything seem dreamlike, insubstantial. Sometimes you can see the hills. Sometimes it’s as though they are not there.”
“Yes, exactly.” His eyes closed for a moment, as though he were gazing at something unseen. His jet-black lashes were as lush as a woman’s. “The monsoon reveals the truth, that all is Maya, illusion. Our bodies, this world, pleasure and pain, it is all a dream of the gods.”
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Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads, Pinterest, BookBub, BingeBooks and Twitter.
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