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On a flight back to India, Leela didn’t expect to be seated next to her long-lost childhood friend Anil, now a handsome and powerful businessman. Strong-willed and fiercely independent, Leela has built a life overseas all on her own. But as problem after problem faces her in India, Leela has no choice but to turn to Anil. Leela knows she is walking into dangerous territory by accepting Anil’s help. But as every look and every touch draws her closer and closer to Anil, can she safeguard her heart and her independent life?
please continue to relax and enjoy our hospitality.” A low moan resounded through the business class cabin. A forty-five minute delay, interpreted by the norms of Indian standard time, probably translated to a two hour hiatus on the ground in Singapore. “It’s this bloody monsoon season,” griped a middle-aged, overweight Indian businessman seated in front of Leela. “There’s just no point in trying to get anything done this time of year. Bloody Indian weather.” “You’ve got to look on the bright
of it down, quickly and nervously. The airline intercom suddenly crackled on. “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to take this moment to welcome you to Singapore Airlines Flight 1161. We are on schedule to depart Singapore at 1900, with arrival in Bangalore at 2100 hours, local time. Passenger boarding will be complete in approximately twenty-five minutes. In the meantime, I would like to invite those of you in business and first class to relax and enjoy our service.” As Leela
someone, you know.” “Kaushik? I’m not surprised,” Anil said. “Who was she?” “Well, I guess you should ask, who were ‘they’. He had a mistress – a Harijan mistress – and a 2-year-old child. A boy.” Anil nodded, looking out at the vast expanse of the road in front of them, waiting for Leela to continue. “I never wanted that, you know. The engagement, I mean. But Amma and Ragini Aunty really thought it was our only resort. After Appa was gone, there was nothing left. The creditors took almost
a little?” Leela asked quickly, trying to stall the inevitable. “Nonsense, Leela. Young men need proper meals. Come, Anil.” Ragini Aunty firmly led Anil out of the room and down the corridor. Turning to look at Leela as he was ushered toward the kitchen, Anil smiled and winked at her. Evidently, the prospect of an interrogation by Ragini Aunty wasn’t enough to strike fear into Anil’s heart. Little did he know, Leela thought to herself. Hoisting the tray, Leela headed back down the corridor
Bridge. It was the perfect end to a nearly perfect weekend. She had spent all of Saturday and Sunday driving along the coast of Northern California, soaking in the majesty of the Pacific Ocean and the cliffs, enjoying the salty breeze and wide openness of the highway. It was the first time she had ever had the chance to indulge this whim, though she had planned it for a long, long time, ever since she had first arrived in California. The past few days had been a blur of hectic activity. After