Romantic Short Stories: The Billionaire’s Wife

Hello Friends,

It’s Monday, and I’m here with yet another steaming shot of short love stories. Hope you’ll like it.

 

Title: The Billionaire’s Wife

 

“I got to do this to save my business. There’s no other way.” Kate murmured under her breath as she stepped out of her antique shop and waited for the taxi.

Kate was a virgin and didn’t know that she was heading to an uncharted territory. A night full of passion and Kate ended up losing her V-card to Dave.

An unexpected pregnancy compelled Kate to think and rethink about her marriage of convenience with sexy billionaire Dave Hunt.

“Oh, so you’re back.”

“Yeah, I need funds to pay the bills.”

“Transferred.” Dave hit a button on his laptop and gazed at Kate with his mischievous eyes.

“What I have to do now?” She smacked her lips in anticipation.

“Nothing new. The same thing which you had been doing for the past three months. You have to pose as my wife in front of my parents. They’ll stay with us for a month and you have to behave like a well-obedient daughter-in-law.”

“Well-obedient?” Her eyes narrowed as anger boiled within her.

“Yeah, no more late nights at your old goods shop in the downtown. You would rather be finishing your work as early as five and be home at six to have a family dinner with us.”

“But, this was not in the contract.” She shot an angry stare at him.

“You know what, Kate, I never had any trouble with getting girls. Women throw themselves at me. I just have to stand and wait for them to come to me. You should feel lucky that I pick you. I still have options. If you…” His angular jaw clenched as he stood from his chair and swaggered around her.

“Okay, fine. I’ll be home at six and will have dinner with your parent. But after that can I get back to work?”

“Sure. You can use my car.”

***

Romantic Short Stories: The Billionaire's Wife“Where the hell are you, Kate?” Dave tossed his smartphone on the bed, loosening his tie knot with the other hand.

Rain lashed the car top. The storm had set in.

“It’s six. She should be home.” He muttered as he drove through the overpass to reach the downtown.

His car halted in front of Kate’s Antique Store.

He pushed open the door and there she was. Kate stood on the other side of the customer’s counter showing some antique pieces of jewelry to an old couple.

Dave’s presence was commanding, his cologne even stronger.

Kate lifted her head and saw him shooting daggers at her from all the way across the shop. His gaze scalded her heart. So intense. She begged an excuse from the couple and gestured Dave to meet her in the guests’ lobby.

“You here? What’s wrong. You don’t look good. Is everything okay?” Her mouth twisted, eyes widening. She couldn’t believe that Dave could ever visit her small rustic shop.

“How can you be so irresponsible?”

“How could you say that?” She felt heat building inside her, flushing her cheeks.

“What are you doing here? Entertaining your customers? How could you do this? At least, you could have called me but no, you were so busy. And the best part is that you’re not picking up your phone.” His firm grasp on her shoulders tightened as his eyes emitted heat of anger, desperation, restlessness, all mixed.

“Why do you want me now, Mr. Dave? You renewed the contract for a month, till your parents are here. And, if I’m not wrong Mrs. and Mr. Hunt left the town last night. We both saw them off at the airport.”

Sky fell on him.

“Shit. How can I…” His hands slipped off her arms. Massaging his forehead, he glanced her way. “Anyways… by what time you’ll be free.”

“Just this couple and I’m closing the store.”

“Cool. I’ll be waiting for you.” He came close and held her hands, his eyes reading her thoughts.

“And, why do you wait for me, Mr. Hunt.”

“Because I don’t want my pregnant wife to return home all alone in the stormy night.”

“So, you still think I’m your wife even when the contract is over.”

“What proof do you want, Kate? Do you want me to show you my heart? Can’t you just understand?”

“Understand what?”

“That I want you back in my life. And this time, without a contract.”

 

~End~

 

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Romantic Short Stories: That Special Someone

Here comes this week’s romantic short story:

Title: That Special Someone

“So, you think you can do this,” David asked Ashley as he pulled out a paper towel from the kitchen napkin holder and lay over a sea-green ceramic plate.

“What made you think I can’t?” She bumped her eyebrows and scowled, gently immersing the frying basket into the hot oil.

“Careful… it will splatter.”

“Ouch…” She whined with a tingle of burn on her hand.

“Shit. Are you alright? Hope you have not scalded your hand…”

“Chill. It’s just a minor burn.”

“Come on…” David dragged Ashley to the kitchen sink and held her hand under the cold running water.

“I’m alright. Let’s see if the wings are done.” She lifted her gaze and looked at him.

“Better you leave the kitchen in its owner’s hands and relax in the living room.” David pushed Ashley out of the kitchen to the cozy living room of his farm house, unknown of the fact that the woman he was living with for the past few months was a famous movie star.

Tired of her materialistic lifestyle and unnecessary show-off, Ashley left her house on a whim. She was seeking oblivion in someone’s close company when God granted her wish of finding a person who didn’t know a thing about her.

David appeared like an angel when Ashley knocked his country house in the middle of a stormy night. He politely took her in and since then they were living together.

Romantic Short Stories: That Special Someone“Here you go…” David set a cup of black coffee and a plate full of chicken wings on the coffee table.

“Where’s your coffee?” She asked looking up meeting his deep dark eyes.

“Way too much caffeine in my bloodstream. I’m on a coffee fast right now.”

“Oh, come on… You can’t be.” She stood and came close. “I’m not going to drink this stuff alone. You need to share this.” She raised the coffee mug to his lips, and he couldn’t resist taking a sip from the mug.

“Shall, I get another cup for you?” he asked as he sensed his heart melting by the sight of her thin pink lips. Something citrusy wafted in his nose as she edged closer to him and smiled, her green eyes twinkling like two shiny stars.

“Not needed.” She rotated the mug and carefully placed her lips at the steamy impression of David’s lips, sipping the hot beverage.

Their eyes did the talking as they came close, and the most awaited kiss happened. Their lips played for a while before they pulled back holding each other’s hands.

“I knew you’re a special woman.”He gazed into her eyes, a smile curving his mouth.

She shrugged, her brows furrowing. Her gaze dipped to the floor. “Special?”

“I know who you are.” He lifted her chin up with two fingers.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to hurt you. I should’ve told you but things were so beautiful I didn’t want to ruin them by telling you the truth.” Her forehead creased as tears blurred her vision.

He came close and dab the streaming tears on his fingers.

“Oh, baby. Don’t cry. We always dream a life that we don’t have. You can stay here as long as you want but you need to go back some day.”

“Will you miss me?” She sniffed looking in his eyes.

“Of course, I will miss you…”

“I don’t want to go back. I hate my celebrity status. Can I stay with you forever?”

“You can sweetheart but don’t give up on something you achieved with so much of hard work. You can drop in here anytime and can stay for as long as you want but you need to carry on. I hope you’re getting me.”

She smiled with eyes and mouth. New tears glazed her eyes as she went into David’s open arms.

~End~

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Romantic Short Stories: Love Off the Field

Hello, Friends! It’s Monday, and I’m here again with a new short love story. This week’s romantic short story is about the personality clash between a hugely successful sport’s person and his sports manager. Hope you like it…

Title: Love Off the Field

“Aren’t you the luckiest girl in this world?” Aryan smirked as he pulled out a chair.

Shanaya lifted her head and looked up. Her eyes landed on an outstandingly gorgeous man, and a lump formed in her throat. “Ex…cuse…me…” She fumbled trying hard to swallow the bite of her vegetable sandwich.

“Water?” He raised the glass of water seating next to her.

“Thanks…” She sipped some water from the glass and placed it back on the table, gathering her strewn thoughts.

She had been in awe since she was appointed as the sports manager of Aryan Malik.

The young and dashing captain of the Indian Cricket Team was quite a player off the field as well. With a deeply dimpled smile and 6 feet tall frame, he could make any woman’s imagination run wild. However, Shanaya Khanna was not like any other girl.

It was her oozing confidence that swept Aryan off his feet. Their first meeting and he lost his heart to her. But aware of Aryan’s womanizing habits, she maintained a professional distance between them, no matter how hard Aryan tried to woo her.

“You’re ten minutes late.” She adjusted her glasses on her thin straight nose and looked in his direction only to find him staring at her, smile dangling at the corners of his lips.

“I’m flattered. I was an hour away and you started missing me.”

“We expect your cooperation in making things better.”

Romantic Short Stories: Love Off the Field, mariyamhasnain.com“I’m all yours Miss, do whatever you want.” He stretched his back against his chair and widened his arms. The chiseled expanse of his chest peeked through the translucent fabric of his sports T-shirt.

Shanaya was in her prime and Aryan’s nearness was causing some serious heart palpitations and gasping at her end.

She tried to control her rapid heart beat concentrating on the things she needed to discuss with him.

“So, let’s begin. You gotta work on your diet and exercise routine. I think you’re not paying proper attention to types of food you take. From now on, no oily and starchy food. Only proteins. And yeah, we need to work on building a good boy image of yours in the media.” She scribbled something on her notepad.

“We need to work on your sleeping and waking up cycle. Looks like you’re spending a little too much time outdoors, sleeping late at nights, and missing morning practice sessions..”

But, I need to seriously work on addressing those sparks that are flowing in between us, Miss.

“Yeah, sometimes it gets late. You know…” he chuckled as he thought about kindling a relationship between him and Shanaya.

“No late nights from now on.”

He peeked inside her eyes as he leaned closer. “Okay, only on one condition.”

“You can’t Mr. Malik.  You can’t bind me with your nonsense conditions.” She stuttered.

“Okay, consider it as a request. Consider this as my first step towards a good boy image. Am I talking sense now Ms. Khanna?” He whispered.

Musk surrounded her as he came even closer and brushed some loose strands of hair of her face, tucking them behind her ears.  “I want to take you out.”

“Okay. Just once.” Her lips fumbled as her heart galloped hard against her chest.

He commanded. “Just once a week.”

~End~

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Romantic Short Stories: Just Say Yes!

Hello, Friends! Well, I couldn’t keep myself from writing romantic short stories. Last week, I wrote two short stories. One for a contest and one for you. So, here’s your treat:

Title: Just Say Yes!

Tia Shumosky had a lustful eye for the Belmont Girls’ High School football coach.

The long-legged, brown-eyed Darcy was every girl’s eye candy. And Tia knew it. Though she never devoured Darcy’s sex appeal, his curious glances at her in the middle of the practice sessions often raced her heartbeat.

Tia was not a shy girl. Bold and confident, she was the vice-captain of her football team.

The only thing that stopped Tia from approaching Darcy was their age gap. Tia was a young 16-year-old teenager, while Darcy was in his late twenties, perhaps pushing to thirties, and a single dad.

Though their age gap never bothered Tia, she always remained apprehensive about Darcy’s thinking process. Besides that, Mrs. Bennett, the divorced psychology professor who always buzzed around Darcy, also served as a major obstacle in the creation of something more than just a pupil–trainer thing between Tia and Darcy.

Tia wiped a hand over her sweaty brow, stuffed her towel in her sports bag, and tightened her shoelaces.

It’s now or never. I will ask him today.

She sipped water from her tumbler, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, and headed to where Darcy was relaxing after an adrenaline-pumping football session.

“How are you, Mr. Darcy?”

He gazed at her, his eyes crinkling under the beaming sun. “Ms. Shumosky. You’re still here? Don’t have classes today?”

“Yeah . . . I was . . . kind of . . .”

He smiled as he sensed the shakiness of her voice. “Yeah, you were . . . kind of . . . what, Ms. Shumosky?”

Oh, come on, Tia. Ask him. It’s now or never.

“Actually, as you know, today was the last day of our football practice session. From tomorrow onwards, exams are starting, and then holidays . . .”

“Yeah . . . so . . . that happens every year. Nothing new in that, Ms. Shumosky.”

“Actually, Mr. Darcy, I was thinking if I can . . . I mean, if you can take me . . . I mean, if we can go out somewhere. I don’t know when I see you next.”

He smiled as he rolled up the white socks on his firm calves. “Next year, Ms. Shumosky. We’ll meet at the start of the next sports session.”

She muttered under her breath. “If you know I’m graduating this year.”

“Oh . . . I see.”

His narrow eyes landed on Tia, and her heart skipped a beat. “Do you wanna go on a date with me before your graduation?”

“Kind of . . . only if you want.”

He rubbed a hand over his chiseled jaw and smiled. “Why don’t you come home, and I’ll cook something for you . . .”

“Oh, that’s great, Mr. Darcy.” Her heart raced as butterflies fluttered harder in her belly.

“Cool. So, today in the evening. Dinner time? Will that be fine with you?”

She bubbled with a wide grin. “Perfect . . . I’ll be there at six.”

“Sure . . . see you in the evening.”

***

“Maggie, she’s your new ballet teacher.”

Darcy smiled as he introduced his five-year-old daughter to Tia.

“I’m sorry, Tia, I was trying to ask you this for a long time. It would be great if you can teach ballet to Maggie. I hope you won’t mind that.”

A mixture of nervousness and excitement washed over her.

Wow . . . I hit the jackpot.

“No . . . not at all, Mr. Darcy. I would love to. It would be great if I can help her learn to dance. She’s so young. This is the perfect time for a start.”

Tia was on cloud nine when Darcy and Maggie dropped her home after dinner.

She couldn’t realize that Darcy wanted to see her every day. Ballet was just an excuse. He wanted Tia to spend time with his daughter so they would get to know each other, and who knew, this could lay the foundation of a new relationship between Tia and Darcy. Something more than just a pupil–trainer thing.

~End~

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If you like this…You will love reading “Hearts and Kisses” a collection of 11 lovely short stories! Click the link below for a preview right now! ⤵️
Hearts & Kisses : Lovely Flashes of Romance

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Here’s How I Fell In Love With My New Summer Sandals

Do you change your wardrobe with the season? I guess you do. Perhaps, you donate your old clothes of the passing-by season and buy new ones. But, do you do the same thing with your shoes and sandals also? If not, you’re missing the latest trends in footwears.

And, do you know what is trending in shoes and sandals this summer. Yeah, these are super comfortable and uber cool flip-flops. Besides these, there’s something even more unique has come up in the market in the range of summer shoes and accessories.

Recently, during a handicraft exhibition, I spotted something pretty amazing for my summer feet. And, without thinking for a second, I bought it. Can you guess what’s that? These are hand-made eco-friendly barefoot sandals.

Here's How I Fell In Love With My New Summer Sandals, barefoot sandals, www.mariyamhasnain.com

From shoes to no shoes, barefoot sandals define the current craze of the season. With celebs sporting their open-toe shoes everywhere, going barefoot might be the next style statement, especially for those who love sunbathing and enjoying the summer heat on the beach like me.

As flip flops are the new fashion trend this summers, barefoot sandals seem to be the perfect beach wear this season. Be it beach wedding, poolside party, or any other occasion, you can either team them up with shoes or just go bare feet with these boho style sandals decorating the top of your feet.

The sandals are just perfect for any barefoot activity, for instance, yoga, dancing, pilates, sunbathing, hippie wedding or beach wedding. These hand-made fashion sandals are made up of 100% cotton yarn with decorative beads. The anklet sandals stretch to fit around your ankle and toe and beautifully complement your bare feet. These sandals are the perfect foot jewelry for summers and one size fits all, so you need not worry about the size if you order them online.

Go crazy this summer. Flaunt your style and oomph with your favorite pair of barefoot sandals.

~MH

How to Get Up Early in the Morning — My Technique, My Way

It’s summer everywhere. I love bright summer mornings when the early morning sun rays filter into my bedroom and wake me up. I love getting up early as it gives me plenty of time to plan and organize things before I work.

To me, getting up early didn’t come naturally. I wasn’t a morning person. In fact, I was a night owl. Curling and rolling up in bed till late in the morning used to be my guilty pleasure a few years ago. I used to postpone my bedtime and hated getting up early. The result was unhealthy lifestyle, boredom, lack of concentration, and frustration. These things took a toll on my working routine, on my writing.

But now, waking early is one of my favorite things in the world because now I know waking up early benefits.

Mornings are soothing. They are quiet as if the world is still sleeping. It’s the perfect time for doing something creative. I start my morning with two minutes of meditation, followed by 10 to 12 rounds of Surya Namaskars. A cup of coffee and I am all set to work.

A few years ago, I was a different person. It was only until I decided I’ll wake up early, plan and organize myself that I could bring change in my lifestyle. I experimented with my sleeping and waking time. I tried to go to bed earlier than usual. I got up 15 minutes earlier than my usual time. For instance, if I used to get up at seven, I  woke up at 6:45. After doing this for 2 to 3 days, I changed my alarm from 6:45 to 6:30. This gradual process helped me in sinking into my new routine. I could get into the habit of getting up early.

This was all about setting the alarm and waking up early. But most of the times even if you want to get up early, you can’t overcome the lethargy, the sleepiness. Same happened with me. I would put the alarm off or put it on snooze, turn side and go back to sleep until I realized it was nothing but my mental state.

I overcame the mental block. Now, I think there’s nothing that stops you from getting up early if you have slept the earlier night.

To win the sleepy state of mind, I tried few techniques I’m sure will help you in your quest of getting up early.

How to Wake Up Early and Not Feel Tired

Feel Excited: When you go to bed in the night, get excited about the things you want to do the next day.  It could be cooking a new dish, writing a new chapter for your novel, or an early morning walk. In the morning, when you get up, think that exciting thing. This will help you get motivated.

Get up and Say It’s My Day: Straightaway jump out of the bed. Yes, as soon as your alarm rings, push yourself out of bed, spread your arms wide, and inhale. Believe me, it works.

Put your alarm away from you: I’ve dealt this with hundreds of time. It happens unless you put your alarm clock or your cell phone across the room. As soon as it rings, get up, stop it, and straightway go to the washroom. Finish the business and afterward splash your face three times with normal plain water. It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold.

How to Get Up Early in the Morning -- My Technique, My Way, www.mariyamhasnain.com
There’s Nothing Like Gazing at the Rising Sun with a Cup of Steaming Coffee

Things To Do In the Morning

Praise yourself for getting up early. Use your newfound early morning time the best way possible. Don’t check your e-mails, social media or even news in the morning.

Instead, try the following things:

  • Drink water. You’re dehydrated after sleeping for 8 to 9 hours, so drink a glass full of water.
  • Sit and meditate, not much, but at least 3 minutes. Sit still, relax your muscles, close your eyes. You can chant — “Om, Shanti, Shanti.”
  • Do something creative: Write or Paint or Draw
  • Do breathing or stretching exercises. Or go for a walk. You can even try Yoga postures.
  • Have your first cup of tea or coffee, your choice.

How to sleep earlier

Getting up early doesn’t mean you sacrifice your sleeping time. A human body needs at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, inculcate a habit of sleeping early. I know this takes time. Try these tips to sleep early:

  • Warm Milk or Chamomile Tea: It always feels better to drink warm liquids before going to bed. It soothes and relaxes your body. If you are lactose intolerant, you can go for chamomile tea.
  • Listen to soft instrumental relaxing music before bedtime
  • Early dinner. At least two hours before your ideal bedtime
  • No laptops, smartphones, or iPad in bed. Kindle Paperwhite is fine
  • Read in the bed
  • A progressive relaxation: Lay in the bed with your arms and legs wide spread. Start from your toes. Move them slowly, then move upwards to the soles of your feet to your ankle. To your calf muscles, thighs, your stomach, chest. At the end, your neck, face, your head. This relaxes your body and mind. You can sleep better now.

The gradual approach is the key to sleeping and waking up early. It helps you adjust your body to the new routine. This way you’ll never feel tired in the morning and can adjust to your new waking or sleeping time with ease.

I have many friends who think they can better concentrate at nights and are super productive. If mornings are not your thing that’s all right. You can do whatever you want and whatever helps you to achieve your goal. I share what works for me. Hope it helps.

My Mom’s Awadhi Biryani Recipe

Do you like monotony? I’m sure you don’t.

There’s nothing interesting if you follow the same routine day in and day out. Life tends to get monotonous if you go about the same pattern every day.

But, boy do you really need to follow the commands like a robot?

No, you don’t have to. You have reasons, choices, and priorities to help break the routineness of life.

Hurray! Human instincts are still alive!

In my opinion, there are no better reasons than festivals to break this dullness. Celebrations make our lives colorful. And, not so long but at least for a moment or a day, we forget the humdrum of life and usher in the sheer spirit of fun.

Today is Monday and the day of a new post on my blog. It’s really a sweet coincidence, that today we all are celebrating the pious festival of Eid after a month-long fasting.

Breaking the monotony of posting romantic short stories over and over again for the past couple of weeks, this Monday, I’m posting something totally different.

Today, I’m posting my Mom’s authentic Awadhi Biryani recipe, the best chicken biryani recipe, for all those biryani lovers out there and for all my friends, followers, and well-wishers who love making and eating biryani at home.

So, here comes the Quick and Easy Biryani Recipe

Things Needed – Biryani Ingredients

Chicken – 1 kg (full with breast and legs)

Long-grain basmati rice – 1-1/2 kg (soaked in enough water for half an hour)

Curd – 500 mL

Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tablespoon

Garam masala powder – 1 tablespoon

Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Onion – 6 big (sliced)

Oil or Ghee – 500 mL

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Cinnamon stick – 1-inch piece

Black pepper corns – 5 to 6

Cardamom – 4 to 5

Cloves – 4 to 5

Bay leaves – 2

My Mom's Awadhi Biryani Recipe, Easy Biryani Recipe, www.mariyamhasnain.com

How to Cook

Mix curd with ginger-garlic paste, garam masala powder, red chili powder, salt, and cumin powder. Marinate the chicken pieces in the curd. Put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Saute onion in a pan till golden brown. Add the marinated chicken pieces, cook and cover until chicken is tender. Saute the preparation until oil separates. Switch off the heat and keep aside.

In a big vessel, take 1 liter of water. Add salt, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaf. Put the water on the boil. When bubbles form, add soaked rice, and cook on low heat until the rice is semi-cooked.

Strain all the water from the rice. Now, take a flat-bottomed vessel, preferably copper, spread a layer of rice followed by a layer of cooked chicken. Repeat this process until all rice and all chicken is utilized.

Sprinkle mint and coriander leaves and some fried onion slices onto the top layer.

Dissolve some yellow food color or saffron strands in water and sprinkle on the top layer of rice.

Cover the vessel with Aluminum foil without leaving any space for the air to escape. This is necessary for steam buildup and uniform and proper cooking of rice along with chicken and spices.

Put the vessel on very low flame and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the biryani stand on the switched off the stove for an hour or so before serving.

Serve the biryani with mint or cumin raita.

I hope you like this quick and easy biryani recipe straight from my mom’ kitchen. Hope, you’ll make it in your kitchen and enjoy it with your family.

See you next Monday, Till then Bye.

Happy Cooking!

 

Romantic Short Stories: Primal Desires

Hi, Friends!. Love You All. I hope you enjoyed your weekend and now looking forward to a new week. How about starting the new week by reading some romantic short stories. This week’s love short deals with the complex emotion of Lust. Perhaps Love. Perhaps both. You decide 🙂

Title: Primal Desires

“Are you nuts?” Shikha pushed all the stray hairs off her face back into a tight bun. “No way, he’s going to stay with us. Not when you’ll be not home.” She then looked away, glancing at the fresh lilies blooming in the green lawns of their house.

“He’s my childhood buddy. I can’t say no. It’s just a matter of a few days. Once the paperwork is done, he will be off.”

“Can’t you cancel your trip or can’t you book a hotel room for him?”

“Try to understand babes. Raghav is not just a friend. He’s much more than that.”

“I know. He was your emotional support pillar, but things are different now.” She arched her eyebrows as she flipped through the pages of the women’s magazine. “Fine. If you can’t understand, let’s get this straight—I’m not going to stay with a stranger especially when my husband is away.”

“Please sweetheart. I really need this favor from you. Raghav is a cool guy, and he’s not a stranger. You have seen his photographs and even talked to him. Remember, when he called me on the wedding night.” Vikas crawled closer to her  on the couch.

“Yeah, I remember, but that was just a formal call. He just congratulated us. That’s all. The truth is that I don’t know him. I mean if he’s going to stay with me, he will definitely eat, sleep, and do all the things that he does.”

“Of course. How can you stop the person of not doing his daily activities of living?” Vikas cocked a brow.

“So, what does he eat?”

“He’s not that picky. Anything with chicken will do. I will fill the refrigerator with an extra supply of chicken and beer for you two.”

Vikas’ gentle persuasion was flawless, and he finally succeeded in melting the ice of Shikha’s heart. She agreed to let Vikas’ childhood friend Raghav stay at their house for a week while Vikas was off to the US.

***

“Coming…” The doorbell ranged the third time. Shikha ran to the door, wrapping her wet hair in a towel.

“I’m sorry…was in the shower…Please come in,” she said, her faint smile vanishing. Her eyes fixed on a 6 feet tall hunk, an owner of a sculpted body that he hid underneath a white creased shirt and khaki pants, standing next to Vikas.

Raghav never looked that sexy in the snaps. Perhaps, that were the entire old ones I saw. He’s a grown up man now. A man with bulging biceps and tattoos. No wonder why he didn’t marry until now. Perhaps, he is a player. A man who always plays with women takes them to his bed but never gets involved in a relationship.

Anyways, who the fuck cares. He’s not going to stay here for any longer. It’s just a matter of seven days. All I need is to feed him good food, take him around the city, talk to him politely while he finishes his work in the town, and finally leaves the house.

Shikha assured herself that Raghav’s visit was not going to make any difference to her life as she arranged the table for lunch. However, she couldn’t stop herself looking at Raghav, devouring his intoxicating appeal.

That evening, Vikas left for the US leaving his wife alone in the company of his old childhood friend for a complete one week.

***

One evening…

“So what do you do?”

“Me. nothing. Just cooking, sleeping, watching TV that’s all.”

“You don’t have any hobby?”

“I never thought about it.”

“Never thought about it?” He chuckled. The sound of his snicker sent shivers of excitement all through her spine. And, boy, those vivid brown eyes, sexy enough to disturb all the sleeping butterflies in her stomach.

“I mean…Yeah…I used to make soft toys for kids when I was young. I mean it was long before getting married.”

“For kids?”

“For kids of the maids who would work in our society.”

“I see, and you used to gift them?”

“Yeah. Right.”

“That’s pretty adorable. I mean who the damn cares about these things.” His lips set in a grim line as he looked down the carpet of the living room. The air was heavy. There was this constant sound of raindrops falling on the tin roofing of the backyard. He looked sad, vulnerable, almost on the edge of shedding tears.

Vikas told her that Raghav was the son of a woman who used to work as a housemaid in their palatial residence. It was Vikas’s parents who helped Raghav’s mom to get him educated.

For a moment, she thought of going close to him and putting her hand on his, but she restrained. Restrained her from looking at him. Teardrops slid from the corner of her eyes. She couldn’t understand why she felt that way. A few days with this man and her world had changed. She never felt the intense magnetism towards any man she felt for Raghav.

“What do you do?” She broke the ensuing stillness of the rainy evening.

“I make sculptures?”

“Sculptures? You’re a sculptor?”

“Yeah…You guessed it right.”

“Interesting. So what do you sculpt?”

“Anything. I mean anything that fascinates me.”

“And, things that don’t fascinate you. Do you still sculpt them?”

“It depends. If I have to do it for a client. I once sculpted a fat businessman with fairly big mustaches, and I got sixty thousand bucks for that.”

“OK. Deal. You will make my sculpture, and because I’m not that fascinating, I’ll pay you for that.” She smiled.

“Who says you’re not fascinating?” He chortled.

His words electrified Shikha’s entire being. Hot desires grew from inside, making her cheeks blush. She cast her eyes downward, no words escaping from her mouth.

***

“Can’t you sit still…I’m shaping the features. And, please brush that hair away from your face.” Raghav’s voice was soft yet commanding enough to make Shikha’s heart race.

“No, no, not that…Oh, okay, just let me do it for you.”

As he came close, his body warmth floated around her. The brush of his fingers, all clay on them, on his forehead, and a shiver ran down her spine. Butterflies fluttered harder. Almost ready to tear her stomach. Her heart thumped even harder making it difficult for her to breathe. A choking feeling couldn’t let her inhale oxygen. All, she could inhale was the musky fragrance of his cologne as he stood just an inch away from her. His broad chest exposed in a blue vest, sweat drops traveling from his temple to his Adam’s apples before touching down the chisels of his gorgeous chest.

Oh! God! I want to breathe, and this man is not letting me do that. I will die if he doesn’t go away in another 10 seconds.

“I’m sorry. I can’t do this.” She pushed Raghav in his chest and scurried past him, darting out of the outhouse.

Romantic Short Stories: Primal Desires, www.mariyamhasnain.com

“What’s wrong with you? It’s half done. Just a matter of few more hours.”

“I can’t sit still for that long. It’s okay. Just leave me alone. Just go.”

She could sense his presence behind her.

“Can’t sit for long or you can’t have me near you?”

His words pounded her heart, shattering it into pieces with each piece saying – yes you’re the one I ever longed for.

“Why are you here? Finish your damn paperwork and leave. Please go away.” She smoldered as she wiped her tears.

“Shikha…”

His low husky voice. Her name on his tongue worked like an aphrodisiac, igniting the fire more intense than ever before.

“Are you falling for me?”

She didn’t reply, tears making her vision blurry, her heart sinking, her lungs laboring for air.

“Aw, shucks, I can’t believe this.”

With that, he turned his back. And the next moment, he was gone out of her room.

20 minutes passed by

Perhaps, 30

Probably, an hour

“Raghav…” She cried like a kid as she searched for him everywhere in the house.

“Raghav. Where are you?”

“I’m here.” He came out of the guestroom, hauling his suitcase behind him.

“You can’t go away. Can’t leave me like this.”

“What do you want from me?” He came closer and looked in her eyes. “It’s lust Shikha, nothing else.”

“It’s not lust. If it were, I would not have wept that night when I saw tears in your eyes. Your presence, your nearness, your touch bring a hurricane of feelings. Feeling unknown to me. Feelings I’ve never had before. Feelings I want to melt into, fade into, dissolve into finishing my entire being. Being with you is like putting me on fire and asking you to leave is like letting that fire burn me.”

“You’re my friend’s wife Shikha, and I can’t break that trust. You understand. I can’t break that trust.” His grip hardened on her shoulders as he tried not to reveal his vulnerable side. The side he kept hidden from her, feelings that were burning him too, inside out.

“Don’t hurt me if you can’t love me.” She shoved his hands off her shoulders and turned around. “You should be gone when I come out.” And, she rushed to her bedroom, not wanting to see him leave.

Again, she could sense him standing behind her. His hand on her waist made its way under her shirt, pleasure bubbles forming inside her skin. His touch on her flat belly sparked thousands of volts of electric current. She closed her eyes to dissolve, to melt, to finish in the heat that dissipated from his body. Her head tilted backward, her lips parting in anticipation.

The touch of their lips kindled a fire. A fire that ignited both the bodies. Flames ready to burn them alive, turn them into ashes, a heap of slag, had they not extinguished them, doused them, smothered them succumbing to their primal desires. Love, Lust, Whatever.

***

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Romantic Short Stories: A Flight of Stairs

Howdy Friends! It’s Monday and I’m here with yet another love flash from my hidden treasure of romantic short stories.

Title: A Flight of Stairs

With that last tattoo, of a dragon, done on my forearm, I was all set for my first-ever concert as a singing pop star of the town. My long-cherished dream would come true. Never in my whole life, had I missed a single night when I didn’t dream of singing in front of a huge crowd of fans.

And, I nailed it. My latest album hit the top 10 Asian-American songs of the month. Though I was no stranger to facing the media glare, performing in front of a live audience gave me goose bumps just like we get before exams or job interviews.

I was running late, so I scrambled towards the elevator, got inside, and touched the 0 button.

“Shit.”

In haste, I couldn’t work out that the lift was going upstairs. A couple minutes of ride from 5th floor to 27th floor seemed like an irritating, never-ending journey. A journey that takes you away from your destination.

The elevator reached the top floor, and a man entered inside. Worried about reaching the concert venue on time, I threw an irritating stare towards him.

Cleanly shaven with a tangle of wayward brown curls pushed back on his head, he either took a decent amount of time to set his hair or got out of the bed without even brushing a hand on his head. Whatever it was, he looked damn gorgeous in a black suit that hugged his broad-shouldered tall frame perfectly.

A little distraction seemed like a flight to heaven, and I enjoyed the ride downstairs with the man who took my breath away.

His cologne tantalized my senses and filled my brain with all the naughty thoughts.

What if I was marooned on an island with this handsome stranger? How about getting stuck in this elevator with this gorgeous man?

Hey, relax Ritika. You’ve to perform in a couple of minutes.

Restraining my thoughts, I stopped ogling him and fixed my stare to the floor of the elevator.

I took a deep breath to stop the flickering butterflies flocking hard against my ribs and closed my eyes to slow down my thumping heartbeat.

Darkness.

Yeah, it’s good. I’m feeling much better.

With that, I open my eyes.

Have I opened my eyes?

Holy shit!

I never thought the wish I made two seconds ago would become true.

Yes, we had got stuck in the elevator.

“Oh! No.” A deep cry escaped my throat.

“Are you in a hurry Miss?” His commanding voice filled the stranded elevator.

Irritation and anger replaced the burning desires.

“It’s because of you, I’m in this situation.”

“I’m sorry? Because of me?”

“Have you not pressed the button, I would have reached the ground earlier.”

“If you were going downstairs why did you catch it at first place?”

“Oh! Please. Don’t you argue with me like an attorney?”

“What, if I’m the one?” He chortled.

Romantic Short Stories: A Flight of Stairs

“Aw! Shucks. I hate lawyers and never in my wildest dreams I thought I would get stuck in the elevator with a conservative attorney?” I bit my lips in frustration.

“Conservative attorney?” His eyes gleamed like two shiny marbles in the thin light of his smartphone. A brief smirk tugged the corners of his lips, flaunting a set of deep dimples as he looked me in the eyes.

“So what do you do?” His gaze smoothly shifted from my face to my exposed skin covered with tattoos of insects, birds, and animals.

“I’m a rock star.”

Before he could make any assumptions about my character or behavior, I proudly introduced myself.

“Rockstar? The one who sings and dances maniacally.”

“Excuse me, Mister.” Heat escalated through me, and I knew, all of it was not anger.

“Oh…I’m sorry.” He smirked again. But, this time there was something in his eyes that made me blush.

He came close and stood across from me. His hand roamed through my narrow waist as he pulled me close.

Anticipating his next move, I closed my eyes and my head tilted backward, almost instantaneously.

A brush of his lips at the corner of my mouth and the stranded elevator breathed to life. It got illuminated and started moving down. He released me from his grip, and we occupied opposite corners.

Mute.

Embarrassed.

Restless.

Within minutes, we reached the ground. Coming out of the lift, he escorted me till my waiting cab, the concert organizers arranged for me.

“I think I need to see you again. How about a dinner? Tonight at eight?”

“That’s cool.” I readily agreed. “Why don’t you come with me now?”

“Umm…Let me reschedule the meeting I have with my clients, and I will follow you in my car.” He chuckled as he touched some buttons on his smartphone before putting it closer to his ear.

****

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~MH

20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture

Just in case you didn’t know, Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations in the Southeast Asia. People come here from different parts of the world eager to experience the “Complex Thai Charm” that they have only heard of before…  Something that has drawn them for a long time and then they get fascinated by the hospitality, beauty, and friendliness of this amazing exotic country. So much so that they keep coming back if not making the Land of Smiles their permanent abode some day. Besides the picturesque beaches, hospitality, and affordability, it’s the Thailand nightlife that attracts visitors from across the world.To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a visit to the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that will warm you up before you visit amazing Thailand.

To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a visit to the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that will warm you up before you visit amazing Thailand.

Living in Thailand is an exotic dream for many westerners which they can live without even burning a hole in their pockets or breaking their banks.

To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a long stay in the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that can help you not just have a great time but also minimize the culture shock.

20 Interesting Facts about Siam, its people, and culture

  • In the Thai language, the country is named as Prathet Thai. The English meaning of the term Prathet Thai is the land of the free which exactly defines the origination and history of the country. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that had never been colonized by any of the European nation.
  • The highly practiced religion in Siam is Buddhism with 94.6% of the population following the teachings attributed to Lord Buddha.

Thailand Meditation

  • Thai is the national and widely spoken language of the region. Like Chinese and Vietnamese, Thai is also a very tonal language with 32 vowels and 44 consonants.
  • Millions of tourists visit the land of smile every year and their number approximates to around 16 million. Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations among people from developed countries across UK, US, and Europe.
  • Sex tourism was at its peak in the country during the 1960 and 70s when Vietnam War American troops were directed to R&R site, not attached to military bases.
  • The country was first time hit by the human immunodeficiency virus in 1984. Today, Thailand has the highest occurrences of AIDS cases than any other Asian country.
  • Child sex trafficking incidents are the common occurrence here, and the country has one of the worst child sex trafficking records in the world.
  • Siam is known for its sexual tolerance and is a safe place for same-sex couples and transgenders – famous with a street name of ladyboys, seen commonly in the mainstream society.
  • Thais are humble, polite, and fun loving people, so raising your voice is completely unacceptable in Thai culture. One should never lose his or her cool in public. The best way is to avoid confrontation and let things go.
  • Thais always seem so happy and relaxed. Happiness is in their attitude and comes from within. This explains the hospitable and carefree nature of the land of smile.
  • Thai people are really obsessed with two things. The first is white skin and the second is taking selfies.
    20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture, www.mariyamhasnain.com
    Thai way of Greeting People
  • Thailand is a constitutional monarchy much like England where the King is considered to be the head of the country. Thai people are seriously sensitive about their king and can’t accept any rude behavior or remarks towards the dignity of their king.
  • Putting feet or stepping on Thai currency is considered equivalent to disrespecting the monarch because it carries the king’s image on it.
  • Drug trafficking is a serious offense in the country, and the penalty of the crime is as severe as death or life imprisonment if the accused is found guilty in the court of law.
  • The national and official symbol of Thailand is Garuda, a half man and half eagle, from the Indian epic Ramayana.
  • Thailand’s culture is highly influenced by China’s traditional and Indian religious values and teachings.
  • The country’s capital city Bangkok is the highly populated city of the country and stands atop the list of world’s most visited cities.
20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture, www.mariyamhasnain.com
Buddhist Monks Walking the Streets of Bangkok
  • Siam has always been the hotbed for world trade and had ancient business links to Asia, Middle East, and Europe. In the past, the ancient city of Ayutthaya was the most powerful city in terms of economic stability and international trade.
  • Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of orchids and the second largest exporter of rice.
  • Thailand’s tourism industry that suffered some minor setbacks after the recent bombing at a shrine in central Bangkok has started to pick up and the country hopes that it will bounce back.

As you can see Thailand is a whole new experience and is very different from visiting any South Asian country. For you who loves intrigue, awakening and a whole new world, I would recommend reading Camouflage: The Racing Romantic Suspense Set In Exotic Thailand.

***

Camouflage - Lost and Found, www.mariyamhasnain.comIf you are already smitten by Thai charms, You would love to read my new romantic suspense thriller Camouflage. The best part is I’m giving away first few chapters totally free. You don’t want to miss this amazing “Quick read with a fantastic blend of romance and intrigue” that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire time – Click here to get it now.

Camouflage is a story of Mark, a corporate executive, who migrates to Thailand in search of happiness, freedom, and most importantly to feel alive and ends up falling in love with his next-door neighbor, a Thai Girl, Sheina.

Rich in vivid description, full of intrigue, thrill and lots of passionate romance, Camouflage explores the truth hidden behind the glittering and wild nightlife of Thailand. The book sneaks into the darker areas of the country’s thriving sex industry, drug trafficking, and gang violence.

All in all this would be an edge of the seat entertaining read…assured!

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FREE BONUS TO LUCKY WINNERS

Grab your copy of Camouflage in any format and you are eligible to receive this surprise gift worldwide.

No, you’re not getting another book free but something that has a genuine connection to Thailand. So I am giving away 5 of these retro-style open Thai rings to 5 lucky winners every month.

Thai Vinatage Open Ring
5 Lucky Winners Will Get This Amazing Vintage Thai Ring Every Month.
Thai Open Ring[1]
Goes nicely with your style.
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