The Landlord’s Agreement

The Landlord’s Agreement

The construction had been going on for 1 year now and was nearing the end. Rahul stared out at the pavers and steamrollers as they crawled along the new flyover, putting asphalt down on the 500 crore project he had worked on for the past two years as a member of the Diamond Tourbo Department of Civil Engineering. It was the Colaba Boulevard project in south Mumbai, a badly needed overcrossing of Colaba Boulevard and Highway 5. When it was complete the residents of the fast growing Shivaji Chowk section of the city would be able to commute to work without having to go five km out of their way to the next flyover.

“A real work of art,” said Aayesha Sultana, who was standing next to him. Aayesha was a drainage and irrigation specialist. She had worked closely with him as he’d designed and overseen the roadways.

He shrugged. “It looks pretty on paper,” he said with a note of bitterness, “and it’s coming in under budget, but…”

“I know,” she said sympathetically. “It’ll be a mess when it comes to practicality. For what its worth, I agree with your reasoning. I’m sorry the bosses didn’t.”

Rahul nodded. Though he had engineered most of the onramp/offramp system, the basic design was one he sternly disagreed with. In order to save on construction costs, the traffic-engineering department had insisted on a dual-purpose feeder/extrication ramp system — a concept in which the traffic leaving the highway and that entering the highway shared the same portion of the ramp for about four hundred metres. What this meant is that during rush hour there would be one line of cars trying to merge to the left to get on the highway while another group was trying to merge to the right to enter the cloverleaf portion and circle up to the Colaba Boulevard overpass. Such designs had already been proven inefficient and prone to accidents in other metropolitan areas in which they had been used. But that didn’t cut any shit with the traffic engineers or the board of supervisors. All they cared about was that it would shave 80 crore and four months off the project.

“Fuck ’em,” Rahul said. “What do I care, anyway? I don’t have to drive on the friggin thing.”

“Amen to that,” Aayesha agreed. Both of them lived in the more established suburbs of Mumbai

“So, you dumped that boyfriend of yours yet?” Rahul asked her, lowering his voice a tad just in case one of the other engineers happened by.

She smiled, knowing he was joking but also knowing there was a small shred of seriousness as well. “Not yet,” she said. “Why? Does someone miss me?”

Someone did miss her. Several someone’s in fact. There was a certain… well… relationship between Rahul, Aayesha, and Rahul’s wife, Namita. It had started at a Birthday party nearly four years before when Aayesha and Namita had gotten drunk together and decided to go get their belly buttons pierced. A relatively sober Rahul had driven them. Following the piercings they had ended up at Rahul and Aayesha’s house where the three of them had ended up having a full-blown sexual threesome. It had not been a one-time-only occurrence. That first encounter had only served to convince Aayesha and Namita that they were indeed bisexual – as both had always suspected of themselves. Every two months or so after that, the three of them would get together at either Aayesha’s house or Rahul and Namita’s, get drunk, and have a sweaty, lustful, no-holds-barred ménage a trois. Sadly, the get-togethers had ended six months before when Aayesha started dating her dentist, Dhanush Gupta, who was a nice but somewhat square and prudish man.

“Let’s just say that Namita really got to enjoy a softer touch in the bedroom once in a while,” Rahul said.

“And what about you?” she asked. “You never seemed to mind it either.”

He laughed. “I’m a guy. I’d be up for it every day and twice on Sunday if I could.”

She joined his laughter. “I always liked your honesty, Rahul. And I miss our little get-togethers too. Especially… you know… the Namita part.”

“Well thanks a lot,” he said, feigning offense.

“Oh you,” she said, blushing. “You know I enjoyed your part in it too.”

And in fact, he did know this. He had vivid recollections of driving in and out of her body from behind while her face was buried between his wife’s legs, moaning with pleasure, urging him to fuck her harder, to fuck her faster.

“But Will is giving me that part now,” she said, then considered. “Or at least a reasonable facsimile of it. He just can’t give me the Namita part. And I don’t think he would really be interested in trying if I found another Namita who was willing to join us. He’s a little uptight about things like that.” She shrugged. “What can you do?”

Rahul had a good idea of what she could do. She could dump the little teeth drilling dweeb and come back over to their house for some real sex. But of course he would never say that to her. Instead, he just duplicated her shrug and repeated her words. “What can you do?”

Their discussion drifted back to the principals of drainage engineering and roadbed construction. Both concluded that the project – though not what they’d initially envisioned – was going as well as could be expected. Aayesha then went over to examine one of the pipe systems she’d designed. Rahul started towards the construction foreman, with whom he wanted to discuss the asphalt mixture. Before he could get there, however, his iPad began to ring from within the holder on his belt. The caller ID told him it was Namita. He ducked over behind a portable toilet to block some of the machinery noise and answered.

“Hey, janu,” he said. “What’s up?”

“It’s noisy there,” she commented. “Are you out on site?”

“Yep. The Colaba overpass. They’re doing the paving.”

“Ahh,” she said. “No wonder I couldn’t get you on your office line. Listen, I just got a real interesting call.”

“Yeah?”

“It was from a woman named Priyanka. She said she wanted look at one of the rentals. The one on Churchgate Avenue.”

The rentals she was referring to was a side business they had gotten into early in their marriage, during the great real estate stagnation of the mid-2010s. Unable to sell their first house when their expanding family had outgrown it, they’d elected to rent it out instead, a venture that had proved somewhat profitable. These days they owned six rental properties; two houses, three duplexes, and a small apartment complex. Though the rentals were a lot of work, they pulled in almost as much income each year as Rahul’s salary. And they were great tax breaks as well. The Churchgate Avenue rental was one of the houses, the nicer of the two they owned. A three bedroom on a premium lot in a decent neighbourhood, it had been recently vacated by the previous tenants and had been on the market for just over a week now.

“So what’s strange about that?” Rahul asked. “Did you make an appointment to show it to her.”

“Well… yes,” Namita said. “But that’s not the strange part. She asked for you by name.”

That was a little bit strange. In the advertisements they put in the paper they did not list their names, just the phone number for the business line they had in their home. “Hmmm,” he said. “Interesting. Did you ask her how she knew my name?”

“Oh I did,” she said.

“And?”

“Well, it seems this woman thought I was your secretary instead of your wife. She says that she used to date you.”

“She used to date me?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.

“That’s what she said,” Namita huffed, though it was a playful huff. “Anything you need to tell me, hon?”

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I haven’t dated too much since we got married. And I don’t think I dated anyone named… what was her name again?”

“Priyanka,” she said. “Priyanka Tandon.”

“Priyanka,” he repeated. “I never dated a Priyanka before we were married.” Even as he said that, though, a small tinge of association wanted to come forth. And it wasn’t a pleasant association.

“She said her last name used to be Sharma,” Namita said next.

This brought the association much closer. That last name did sound familiar, horribly familiar. In fact, it felt like it was attached to one of those memories that he would prefer to keep buried. The name brought up thoughts of laughter, pointed fingers, derision.

“She say anything else?” he asked her.

“Yes, that she wanted you to personally show the house to her. And that her friends call her Sakshi.”

“Sakshi,” he whispered, feeling a chill of shame running up and down his spine. “Oh my God.”

“Hon?” Namita said, picking up on the tone of his voice. “Are you all right? Do you remember her now?”

“Yeah,” he said slowly, bitterly. “I remember.” He shook his head. “Sakshi Sharma. Holy shit.”

“Who is she? Did you really date her?”

He sighed. “I suppose you could say I did. Just one time.”

There was a pause. “Did you… you know… did you and she…”

“No,” he spat. “Nothing like that. I didn’t even kiss her. The date was a set-up. She took me to a…”

“A what?”

Another sigh. “A party,” he said. “Look, you know what I was like back in college. I was an engineering major. Basically, I was a nerd, right?”

“Well, sure, but I was a nerd in college too. I majored in computer programming for God’s sake. What’s the big deal? I’m a part-time programmer and you’re a full time engineer. We’re both still nerds when you come down to it. Haven’t you accepted that by now?”

“Well, yeah,” he said. And it was true. It really was no big deal. He was a nerd by definition but he was a nerd married to a beautiful, sensuous fellow nerd who didn’t mind allowing him to fuck another beautiful and sensuous nerd as long as she got to be there and fuck her too. How many non-nerds could claim something like that? Not too many, he would venture to say. But that was hardly the point. People, especially nerds, carried scars from their younger years. Sakshi represented a major scar. “She was there on a Basketball scholarship,” he told Namita.

“Ahhh,” Namita said. “One of those.”

“Yeah, one of those. She was beautiful and popular, part of the in-crowd, you know? The kind of girl that wouldn’t even look at someone like me when she passed him in the hall. The kind of girl whose shit doesn’t stink.”

“Uh huh.”

“Except, when I was a junior and she was a second year, she did start to look at me in the hall. It happened all of a sudden. She started saying hi to me, started going out of her way to talk to me. It was quite overwhelming for someone who had only been on a few dates before.”

“What did she do?”

“She kept flirting with me for about a week and then she finally asked me if I wanted to go to a party with her.”

“And you said yes.”

“I said yes,” he confirmed. “And I went.”

“What happened?”

The memory was completely back with him now and it was not pleasant. “Well, apparently it was a party thrown by the popular and the rich crowd. The object was for the participants to invite the nerdiest people they could find. It was something of a contest, you see.”

“A pig party,” Namita said.

“You’ve heard of them?” he asked, surprised.

“Yeah,” she said bitterly. “I… uh… went to one myself once. And not as one of the popular people.”

“Wow,” he said softly, amazed. They had been married for eleven years now, had known each other for thirteen, and in all that time neither of them had ever told the other their pig party stories.

“So what happened at yours?” she asked. “Did you win?”

“No,” he said. “I left early, as soon as I figured out what was going on. I was there long enough though. Long enough to have a bunch of jocks asking me how many computer languages I knew, how many calculators I owned, how many… how many times I’d been laid. One of my friends… he was the winner in the guys category.”

“Yeah,” she said. “I didn’t win either, although I stayed until the end. I got drunk there and was too bombed to realize what was going on until the next day.”

There was silence for a few moments as they each contemplated the memories that had been dredged up. “So,” Rahul finally said, “how about you give me Miss Sharma’s phone number so I can call her up and tell her to take a flying fuck at a mainframe? That’ll actually feel pretty good.”

“I could do that,” Namita said. “But might I make another suggestion?”

“What’s that?”

“Let’s show her the place, maybe even rent it to her.”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, wouldn’t it be kind of fun to show little Miss used-to-be popular how successful you are now? How the guy she used to make fun of is now a rich and good-looking entrepreneur while she is forced to rent a house from him? And if she does qualify and moves in, wouldn’t it be fun to constantly lord that over her? To remind her day in and day out how her pathetic little life sucks rocks?”

Rahul hadn’t really considered this. But now that he did, he kind of liked the way it sounded. “Hmmm,” he said thoughtfully. “My dear, I think I like the way you think.”

She giggled. “You always have, haven’t you? I’ll give her a call and try to set something up for tonight. And your secretary will be going with you.”

——-

They drove their BMW to the showing – all the better to display their wealth with – and made a point to arrive fifteen minutes later than the 7PM time Namita had arranged. When they pulled up they saw a Mercedes parked out front. It was not a new Mercedes. At least eight years old, it had several scratches and dents in its once pristine body. Sitting behind the wheel was a woman with mop of bleached hair. The tinting of the window kept them from making out much more than that.

“Is that her?” Namita asked as they pulled into the driveway.

He shrugged. “I’m sure it is, but she used to be black haired.”

“Hmmph,” Namita grunted. She had strong opinions about women who dyed their hair.

They got out and stood before the car. Rahul was dressed in a suit and tie, an outfit he usually only wore to formal functions. Namita had on one of her best business dresses, the one she wore to job interviews. As they met near the rear of their car the driver’s door of the Mercedes opened up and they got their first good look at Sakshi. Rahul’s eyes widened a bit as he took her in.

She’d put on some weight. That was the most obvious contrast with his memories of her. She was not obese by any means, and it wasn’t really even unattractive on her — in fact her boobs had gained considerably from her expansion — but she was no longer a thin little waif in a cheerleading skirt, light enough to be hurled into the air by two other girls. If two girls tried it now they would probably throw their backs out. Her face had aged as well, and not just in the way that fifteen years of time will cause. She had worry lines around her eyes and around the corners of her mouth. She was still pretty, especially with the fake bleached hair, but she looked like a pretty forty-five-year-old instead of a pretty thirty-seven-year-old. She looked like a woman who hadn’t enjoyed a life of fulfilment.

Still, she knew how to dress to accent her most attractive features. She wore a spaghetti-strap top that allowed the tops of her breasts to heave forth in all their glory. And her shorts were loose enough to hide the expansion of her rear end, yet short enough that her smooth legs were prominently displayed.

“Check out the fingernails and toenails,” Namita whispered. “You know what that means.”

He suppressed a smile. Yes, he knew what that meant, or at least what conventional wisdom said it meant. A woman whose fingernails and toenails were identically manicured and painted was generally thought to be a woman who made sure everything in between those two points was properly groomed as well. Sakshi’s fingernails and toenails were identical, painted in a shade of maroon that matched her top and her shorts.

“Rahul,” Sakshi squealed when she saw him, her face lighting up in a happy smile. She came running over, seeming to make a deliberate attempt to make her boobs bounce. She threw her arms around him and hugged him, pushing those soft boobs into his chest. She then kissed him soundly on the cheek, just a few millimetres away from his lips. “It’s so good to see you. God, it’s been years, hasn’t it?”

Rahul gave her a token pat on the back as she hugged him. His eyes flitted over to Namita, who was smirking at him, her eyebrows raised. “Yes,” he said, pushing himself away. “It has been.” He made a show of looking her up and down. “You look… uh… you know… good.”

Her eyes flickered a little at this appraisal. She quickly recovered though. “And you look good too. Really good. You’ve put on some weight.”

He choked back on the urge to say, so have you. Instead, he said, “Yeah, and I got rid of the glasses too. Nothing like laser surgery, huh?”

She laughed as if that was the funniest thing she’d ever heard.

“And look,” he said, opening his sport coat to show her the Pierre Cardan shirt beneath. “No pocket protectors either.”

This produced another round of contrived laughter. He let it go to completion and then waved to Namita. “This is Namita,” he told her. “You talked to her on the phone.”

“Hi,” Sakshi said formally, tightly, her eyes suddenly cool. “It’s very nice to meet you.”

“Oh, it’s nice to meet you as well, Ms. Tandon,” Namita said. “I usually handle the rental showings for… uh… Mr. Modi here and I should be able to answer a lot of the questions you might have.”

“Uh huh,” Sakshi said dismissively. She turned her attention back to Rahul. “So how have you been, Rahul? Everything’s been working out for you?”

“Oh yes,” he said. “Everything’s working out fine. Tell me, uh… Sakshi. How did you know I owned this house?”

“Well, I saw your name in the paper a few weeks ago. Remember that article on real estate prices and rental rates?”

Rahul nodded. A reporter from the Mumbai Mirror, who had been doing a story on the rental market and the housing market, had interviewed him almost a month ago, seeking the opinion of a typical independent landlord. The story had only mentioned him once and had only quoted two lines of what he’d said. It certainly hadn’t mentioned the addresses of any of his properties.

“I looked up what properties you owned on the internet,” she said. “It’s all public information, you know?”

“Why, Sakshi,” he said. “That’s very nerd-like of you, isn’t it?”

She frowned at this reference. It was obvious she did not like being referred to in this manner.

“So,” Namita said, breaking the tension. “Shall we go look at the house then?”

They showed her the house, or at least Namita did, taking her through her a typical tour of the three bedroom, two bath, single story. Sakshi hardly seemed to notice a thing. She asked no questions, just nodded whenever it seemed to be expected of her. She did make a point to stay as close to Rahul as possible and to try to rub her body against his whenever feasible. Namita saw this but pretended not to.

“Well, what do you think?” Rahul asked when the tour was done. They were standing in the empty family room, looking out over the landscaped back yard.

“I like it,” Sakshi said. “I think I’d like to move in as soon as possible.”

“Uh huh,” Namita said. “Well, assuming you pass the credit check and your references check out, the rent is 65,000 rupees per month. That includes the gardening services and the garbage pick-up. The utilities are your responsibility. We also require a 1,00,000 rupees security deposit and a 2000 rupees fee for the credit check itself. The credit check fee, by the way, is non-refundable.”

Sakshi cast an evil glare at Namita. “And that’s what you usually charge… you know… ordinary people?”

“Yes,” Rahul said. “That’s what we charge.”

“But what about friends?” Sakshi asked, giving a little giggle. “You know…” She sidled up to Rahul, her hand touching his shoulder. “Old friends?”

“We charge everyone the same,” Namita said, glaring at her, her voice showing irritation for the first time. “It’s a market thing, and a profit margin thing, you know?”

Sakshi shot a glare right back at her and then turned back to Rahul. “Look, Rahul,” she said softly. “I really can’t afford 65,000 a month. I just got divorced a few months ago and that ex-husband of mine… well, he’s a lawyer. You know how they are. He kind of screwed me with one of those pre-nuptial things.”

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that,” Rahul said, “but…”

“And he got custody of my kids!” she blurted.

“Your kids?”

“Two of them,” she said. “Sonam and Anil. They’re twins.”

“Oh… I see,” Rahul said. “But…”

“I only get to see them on the weekends,” she said. “The rest of the time they’re with him.”

At this point, both Rahul and Namita began to feel the slightest tinge of sympathy for her. After all, what was worse than a mother being separated from her twin children? But then she shattered that sympathy in an instant with what she said next.

“And because I only get them on weekends, I’m not entitled to any child support payments. All I have to live on is the 2,00,000 a month in alimony! Can you believe that?”

“How do you survive?” Namita asked with feigned horror in her voice.

“It’s not easy, let me tell you,” Sakshi replied, completely missing the sarcastic tone. “Anyway, the reason the judge gave for not allowing me custody or more visitation is that I’m living in an apartment. He says that unless I can move into an actual house with an actual back yard, I’ll be restricted to weekend visitation only. I need to get them at least four days every week in order to secure some child support.” She looked at Rahul and put her sweet smile back on her face. “That’s why I’d be eternally grateful to you, Rahul, if I could rent this place from you for… oh… say 40,000 a month?”

“40,000 a month?”

“Yes,” she said, batting her eyebrows. “I’d consider it a personal favor.”

“Sakshi,” he said, ready to end the little game now, 40,000 per month is well below market value for a rental property in this neighbourhood. My mortgage payment on the property is more than that. I’m not in business to lose money.”

“But we’re old friends, Rahul. We’ve dated, remember?”

“Dated?” he asked. “If you call inviting me to a…”

“Uh… Mr. Modi?” Namita suddenly cut in, stopping him before he could gear up into full-blown piss-off and tell-off mode.

He took a deep breath and turned slowly toward her. “Yes, Namita?” he asked.

“Could I speak with you for a second? In private?”

He cast a glance at Sakshi once more and then walked over to Namita. She led him off into a corner, out of Sakshi’s earshot. There, they held a frantic, sometimes heated conversation that lasted nearly five minutes. Finally, they broke apart, a faint smile on both of their faces.

“Well, Sakshi,” Rahul told her, “why don’t we give you a counter-offer?”

“A counter-offer?”

He nodded. “We put down 25% when we bought this property back in 2005. Our EMI on it is Rs. 40,000. The landscaper costs us 5000 a month. We’ll let you have the place on a month to month at cost.”

“At cost?” she asked, confused.

“That means, we’ll let you have it for Rs. 45,000 if you pay the garbage and all the other utilities. How does that sound?”

She seemed to debate the wisdom of sticking to her guns and demanding Rs. 40,000. You could almost see the struggle going on behind her eyes. But eventually she seemed to realize that she really didn’t have any guns to stick to. She smiled. “I’ll take it,” she said.

“We thought you might,” Namita told her.

Rahul produced a card from his wallet. It had his name, address, and phone numbers on it. “Why don’t you come over to my house tomorrow evening to sign the rental agreement?”

“Your house?” she said, automatically suspicious.

“It’s where my office is,” he said. “Say around nine o’clock?”

“Nine o’clock? So late?”

Rahul shrugged. “I have to work late tomorrow,” he said.

She began to look extremely uneasy now. “Look, uh… Rahul,” she said. “Maybe I’ve given you the wrong impression about… you know…”

Rahul waved in dismissal. “You don’t have to worry about anything like that,” he said. “This is on the up and up. Namita will be there too, won’t you Namita?”

“Yes,” Namita said with a sigh, “It’s our normal Friday night meeting. I could hardly miss it.”

This visibly set Sakshi at ease. “Well, I suppose it’s okay,” she said.

“Cool,” Rahul said. “You come over and we’ll sign the forms and you can start moving in day after tomorrow.”

This time her mood definitely improved. “Sounds good,” she said. “I’ll be there.”

——-

At 8:55 the next evening, Namita and Rahul were sitting on their couch, both somewhat anxious. They were dressed casually. Namita wore a flower patterned summer dress, her rich brown hair falling casually around her shoulders, her hemline falling to her knees. Rahul wore a pair of Levi’s and a faded T-shirt from his alma mater — MU. Both were sipping from glasses of chilled white wine. They had already put away one bottle and opened a second. Their children had been shipped off to Namita’s parents for the night.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Rahul asked, for perhaps the thousandth time in the last twenty-four hours.

“No,” Namita admitted. “But what do we have to lose? The worst that can happen is she can slap our faces and leave, right?”

“I suppose,” he said.

“And I don’t think she’s going to do that. That child support money means a little too much to her.”

He nodded. “Yes, I did get that impression. But are you sure that you really want to do this? I mean… you know… everything?”

Her eyes took on a shine of arousal — a shine he hadn’t seen since the last time they’d gotten together with Aayesha. “I’m sure,” she said. “I’m really sure.”

“But what about the… you know… the immorality of it?”

Namita shrugged. “Did she show you any sympathy when she took you to the pig party?” she asked. “Did she care that you stormed out in the middle of it? Did she ever talk to you again after that, even in passing?”

“No,” he said.

“Not until last night, when she wanted something for you. Fuck that bitch. This is nothing more than what she and everyone like her deserves. You reap what you fuckin sow in this life.”

Rahul had nothing to say to that. Namita’s feelings about people like Sakshi — people who thought themselves superior to others, people who used others like tools and then cast them aside — were much stronger than his.

“Besides,” Namita said, “if things work out the way we want them, it won’t be like she’s being tortured or anything, will it?”

“No, I guess not,” he said.

The doorbell rang a moment later. They went to the door together. Rahul opened it, revealing Sakshi on their front porch. She wore a pair of jeans and a button-up blouse, neither one particularly alluring on her. Her hair was loose around her shoulders. Her face showed an expression of pleasant anticipation.

“Rahul,” she said, smiling warmly. “Nice to see you again.” She did forgo the hug and the kiss on the cheek this time, however.

“Come on in, Sakshi,” Rahul told her. “Thank you for showing up so promptly.”

Sakshi shrugged. She glanced at Namita, seemed to cast a disapproving look at her attire, and then ignored her presence completely.

“Why don’t we go into the living room?” Rahul suggested, leading her that way. “We have all the proper documents there.”

The living room was brightly lit, the overhead lights and the lamps all shining brightly. The television was turned off, all of the kids’ toys were put away, the carpet neatly vacuumed and cleaned. Classic rock music played from the stereo speakers at a volume just barely above sub-audible. The rental agreement and the accompanying paperwork were stacked neatly on the oak coffee table.

“It’s a nice place you got here, Rahul,” Sakshi said appreciatively. “You seem to have done all right for yourself.”

“Yes,” Rahul said, waving her towards the couch. “We nerds usually do, don’t we?”

She looked at him, not liking the serious expression on his face. She swallowed nervously. “You weren’t really a nerd nerd,” she said. “You know?”

He shrugged. “I was a nerd nerd,” he said. “And I still am, as a matter of fact. I do calculus for fun. I know how to solve physics equations. I like to watch Game of Thrones. I’ve even been to a Game of Throne convention.”

“I was there with him,” Namita put in, grabbing a seat in the recliner. “We went as Targaryens.” She giggled. “He didn’t even have to pad his crotch. He’s got quite the package, you know. Oh… sorry. I guess you don’t know, do you?”

Sakshi looked at the two of them uncomfortably as she sat on the couch. “No,” she said at last. “I… uh… guess I don’t.” She licked her lips, nervously instead of seductively. “Are you saying that you and Rahul are… you know…”

Namita laughed. “We’ve been fucking each other for thirteen years now,” she said.

“Wow,” Sakshi said, her eyes shining now. “And your wife doesn’t know?” She turned to Namita, her eyes flitting to the ring on her finger. “Or your husband?”

Rahul laughed. “You sure act like a bleached, even if it isn’t real,” he said.

“Huh?” she asked.

“Rahul is my husband,” Namita said.

“And Namita is my wife,” Rahul put in, in case she wasn’t able to figure that out as well.

She looked from one to the other of them and then burst out laughing. “Oh my God,” she said. “I really didn’t know. I thought that he was… you know… I mean, you’re really pretty and everything. I didn’t think that Rahul could…” She blushed as she figured out what she’d been about to say. “So… what about that rental agreement?”

Rahul and Namita exchanged a glance, both of them silently smiling at each other.

“The rental agreement,” Rahul said. “Very good. Why don’t you pick it up and look it over. Make sure we’re not trying to… uh… screw you or anything.”

She glanced at him nervously for a second but calmed when she looked over at Namita. “Sure,” she said, picking it up. She began to scan it. It didn’t take long. It was a standard, month-to-month rental agreement that stipulated rent would be Rs. 45,000 per month, that all utilities would be paid by the tenant, and that the agreement could be nullified by either party with thirty days’ notice. “It looks okay,” she said when she was done. “Do you have a pen?”

“Yes,” Rahul said. “I do.” He made no move to produce it.

Sakshi looked from one to the other of them, not really liking the way they were looking at her. “Uh… could I use it?” she asked.

Rahul shook his head. “Not just yet,” he told her.

“Uh… how come?”

“There are a few other… unwritten things that we need to go over before we sign. Just some formalities.”

She leaned back a bit, confusion now showing. “What kind of formalities?”

“Well,” Rahul said, “we’re letting you rent this house at cost. Do you know what that means? It means we won’t be making any profit on it.”

“Uh… yeah,” she said, “but you won’t be losing any on it either.”

Namita clapped her hands foolishly. “Wow. Have we taken an intro to business course somewhere?”

“Well… yeah,” Sakshi said. “Back in college, but…”

“I’m sure they probably covered the concept of hot and cold markets then, didn’t they?” Rahul asked. “Right now it’s a hot market for rental properties. I’m sure you figured that out when you started looking into renting a place, right? It seems like there’s five people who want to rent each available unit, doesn’t it?”

“Well… uh… yeah,” she said slowly.

“So if we didn’t rent to you, we could have someone else in here within a week paying full price, right?”

She looked at them, her face showing her dawning realization that she might be in a bit over her head here. “What is it you want?”

“We want you to make it worthwhile for us to give up 25,000 rupees a month in profit,” Namita said. “That’s a lot of money. It only seems fair that since we’re doing you a favour, you should do us a favour.”

Sakshi looked from one to the other. “What kind of favour?”

Namita smiled. “Sex.”

Sakshi giggled nervously. “No, seriously,” she said. “What do you want?”

“I was being quite serious, my dear,” Namita told her. “Rahul and I have voracious appetites for sex. And it just so happens that the nice lady who was supplementing us in that department went and got herself a boyfriend.”

Sakshi looked at them, her mouth hanging open. “You are serious,” she said. “You thought that I would… that Rahul and I would…” Her expression turned to one of horror. “Wait a minute. You said ‘us’. You’re talking about… about… both of you?”

“That would be part of the agreement,” Rahul said casually.

“You freaks!” Sakshi yelled. “Are you out of your nerdy little minds? You though I would sleep with you because… because… God! I’d rather be boiled in oil!”

“Oh we’re not that kinky,” Namita said. “We stick to your basic threesome kind of sex mostly. And of course we’ll make sure you are sufficiently pleasured as well, won’t we, Rahul?”

“Of course,” he said. “Namita is quite the pussy eater. And I’m no slouch at it either, if I do say so myself.”

“And he’s got a really nice cock,” Namita added. “He knows how to put it to very good use.”

“That’s it,” Sakshi said, standing up. “I’m out of here!”

She started walking. They made no move to stop her.

“Suit yourself,” Rahul said. “But good luck finding a house for rent in Mumbai for anything less than Rs. 50,000.”

“Yep,” Namita said. “I don’t even think you can get one in Lilavati for that cheap.”

She had reached the door by this time. Her hand fell on the doorknob. She started to turn it but stopped mid-turn. She slowly turned around. “I could call the cops on you, you know. What you’re doing is attempted blackmail.”

“No,” Rahul said. “That involves the use of force or threats of violence. It means the act is committed without the consent of the victim. What we are doing is attempting to secure your consent by offering you a monetary advantage. That is against the law as well, though. It falls under the heading of soliciting for prostitution if you want to get all technical. It’s a misdemeanour, and one that is completely deniable if you should complain.”

“Prostitution?” Sakshi asked. “You think I’m a whore?”

“Whore is such an ugly word,” Namita told her. “We prefer to say we are making a simple business/pleasure agreement.”

“Well you can just forget it,” Sakshi said. “I’m not that kind of girl.”

“Oh no?” Rahul asked. “Then how come you’re still standing there?”

“What?”

“You haven’t left yet. Obviously some part of you must be considering our offer.”

She said nothing. Her eyes were focused on the floor between her feet.

“When we were in college,” Rahul said, “you always used to date the rich kids. You had quite the reputation among them, didn’t you?”

“That doesn’t mean I’m a whore,” she said.

“Oh?” he asked. “So you only happened to fall in love with rich kids who were future doctors and lawyers? Stop playing Miss Innocent. I’m just pointing out that sleeping with people to get something from them is not a foreign concept with you, right?”

“I never really looked at it that way,” she said. “Besides, those were guys! You’re suggesting I do it with a girl too. I’m not a lesbian!”

Rahul laughed. “I seem to remember a story going around about how you and Anushka Tarikh on a little show at a party one night. Something about making out in the hot tub and sucking on each other’s tits.”

She blushed bright red. It was obvious she hadn’t realized he had heard about that little incident. “We were drunk,” she said. “And it was just pretending.”

“Hey, who’s asking for sincerity here?” Namita said. “If you can pretend for some college slut, you can pretend for us.”

“Yeah,” Rahul said. “And I have a feeling you might enjoy our technique a little more. I mean, look at Namita. Isn’t she pretty? You yourself said she was.”

“Well… yeah. She is pretty.”

“And don’t you appreciate the beauty of a pretty girl?”

“Well… yeah, but that doesn’t mean I want to sleep with them.”

“Did you like kissing Anusha?” he asked. “The feeling of a girl’s tongue in your mouth? The press of a girl’s breasts against yours?”

She swallowed nervously, her eyes flitting from Namita to the floor. “It was… you know… all right.”

“I remember the first time I kissed a girl,” Namita said. “It was one of the most erotic moments of my life. And it happened right here, on this very couch.”

“Really?” Sakshi asked, her tongue sliding out and touching her lips again, only this time it was not quite a nervous gesture.

“Really,” Namita confirmed, not mentioning that it was the girl’s freshly pierced belly button she had actually kissed first, followed by her pussy. It hadn’t been until well into the second act — when they’d moved to the bedroom and Namita and Aayesha had been sucking Rahul’s cock together — that they had kissed each other on the mouth. “When was the last time you got laid, hon?”

“Not since about a month before we separated,” she said.

“So we’re talking about eight months or so here? Maybe a little more?”

Sakshi nodded.

“You must be horny as hell about now,” Namita said. “Gosh, I have a hard time if I have to go a week without some nice hard cock sliding into me.”

“Well… yeah, it has been a little tough,” she admitted.

“We can take care of that for you,” Namita said softly. “I’m willing to share my husband with you and my own body as well. And on top of that, we’ll knock 25,000 off your rent. How can you resist an offer like that? Are we really asking you to do something so unpleasant?”

Sakshi licked her lips a few more times, her face showing something like arousal now. “I’m not sure,” she said. “This is just so… I don’t know… weird.”

“Is it Rahul?” Namita asked. “Do you find him unattractive? I mean, I know there’s the built in prejudice those like you feel for people you define as nerds, but really, he’s not repulsive, is he?”

Sakshi looked at Rahul, seeming to actually appraise him for the first time. “No,” she said, almost surprised. “He’s actually kind of cute.”

“So there’s really no problem then, is there?” Namita asked.

Sakshi was chewing on her lip now, her eyes flitting from Rahul to Namita and back again. She opened her mouth to say something and then closed it again. Her hands were trembling.”

Namita stood up, remaining in front of the couch. She held out her hand and hooked her index finger a few times. “Come here, hon,” she said. “Come to me.”

Sakshi’s feet slowly began to move, propelling her away from the door and across the room. She came to a stop directly in front of Namita. She was trembling all over but there was a certain shine in her eyes. Rahul felt his cock starting to inflate within his pants. Was this crazy scheme really going to work? He had assumed the entire time that Sakshi would have stormed out by now, humiliated by her former pig party participant, a classic tale of nerdly revenge. But Namita had maintained all along that this would work, that they would secure a new playmate for themselves. It was she who suggested this particular tactic to secure Sakshi’s cooperation. And damned if it she wasn’t right. It looked like Rahul owed her a good rim-job — which had been the terms of their bet on this matter.

“You really are a pretty woman,” Namita told Sakshi, reaching out and stroking the side of her face. “But you know that, don’t you?”

“I’ve put on some weight,” Sakshi said. “Since the marriage and the kids and all. Sometimes I feel like a cow.”

“You’ve matured,” Namita said. “We all do that. It’s nothing to worry about. I think you’re beautiful.”

Sakshi nearly melted. “Thank you,” she said. “You’re very sweet.”

“I’m going to kiss you now,” Namita told her. And before Sakshi could protest or back away, she did it. She put her hands on either side of Sakshi’s face, leaned forward, and touched her lips to Sakshi’s. She kept them there, moving them a little before slowly sliding her tongue out and licking between them.

Sakshi remained passive for a few seconds and then gave in to the sensation of the moment. She slid her own tongue out to meet Namita’s. The tips touched a few times and then began to linger against each other. Soon they began a delicate dance, swirling around, probing in and out, finally swirling together wetly. Sakshi’s arms came up to embrace Namita. They pulled their bodies together, breasts to breasts, legs to legs. Rahul’s cock solidified into a full-blown hard-on as he watched from his seat on the couch. Yes, it really was working. They really did have a new playmate.

Namita finally broke the kiss but kept her mouth close to Sakshi’s, her body pressed against her. “There,” she said. “That wasn’t so awful now, was it?”

“No,” Sakshi said, looking dazed, her eyes sparkling. “It was… nice.”

“Why don’t we do it some more?”

Sakshi nodded shyly and they kissed again. Their mouths remained locked together for quite some time, long enough for their hands to begin roaming. Sakshi’s moved up and down Namita’s back, hesitant at first, then with growing aggression. Namita was a little bolder. She slid her left hand to Sakshi’s ass. Her right hand came around to the front and began to squeeze Sakshi’s left breast through her shirt.

Namita broke the kiss again and moved her mouth Sakshi’s neck. She ran her tongue up and down the flesh. She nibbled on her ear. Sakshi was now starting to pant, her face flushed, her nipples poking through her blouse.

“You like these big boobies played with, don’t you?” Namita asked her.

“Mmmm,” Sakshi moaned, her head lolling backwards in an expression of surrender.

“Let’s see ’em,” Namita said.

“See… see them?”

“Right,” Namita said, pulling back from the embrace. “I want to suck them.”

Sakshi shivered a little and cast a nervous look at Rahul—who was now softly fondling his hard cock through his pants—but made no move to stop Namita when she reached up and began unbuttoning her blouse. She popped each button slowly, staring into Sakshi’s eyes the entire time. When the last button was free she pulled the shirt open and off her shoulders, letting it drop to the floor. Sakshi now stood in a white underwire bra, the tops of her heaving breasts on prominent display, her nipples poking through.

Namita moved her hands up to Sakshi’s shoulders and began to rub there. She turned her a little, so her back was facing Rahul. “Would you be a dear, dear and undo this bra for me?” she asked.

“By all means,” he said, standing and moving behind Sakshi. He reached out and took the bra clasp in his hands. Sakshi jumped a little at his touch but lodged no protest. He popped it open and then let his hands slide down to her waist. It was not as thin as it had been back in her cheerleading days, but it was still quite respectable. He felt her soft flesh, enjoying the sensation of it, watching as Namita wrapped her hands around the bra straps on Sakshi’s shoulder and slowly slid them off, allowing the bra to drop free.

“Nice,” Namita said, licking her lips hungrily as Sakshi’s bountiful breasts were revealed. They were nearly the size of cantaloupes, the nipples fat and hard, just begging to be tongued and sucked. Namita didn’t let them beg long. She lowered her head and attached her mouth to the left one, her tongue swirling around it for a second before she began to suckle.

“Oh my God,” Sakshi moaned, her hands dropping into Namita’s brunette hair. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

“Believe it, babe,” Rahul told her, moving his hands around to her bare stomach and stroking her there. He pulled himself against her, so his bulging hard-on was pushing into her ample ass. “Get rid of the sandals.”

She did as she was told, kicking off the left and then the right, leaving her feet bare. Namita was now attacking her nipple, slurping hungrily upon it while her hand squeezed and palpated the other breast. Sakshi hardly noticed when Rahul’s hands slid down from her stomach and onto the button of her pants. He popped it open and then went for the zipper, sliding it down to the bottom. He pushed on the waist of her pants, which were loose enough that they dropped in a heap at her feet.

“Get rid of them,” Rahul told her.

She was panting in earnest now, sounding almost like an asthmatic, her fingers twining and untwining Namita’s hair. But still she obeyed, lifting first one foot and then the other free of the pants and then kicking them across the room. She was now dressed only in a pair of lavender bikini-cut panties. Rahul felt her ass a few times, liking the springiness of it. He then slid his right hand around to the front and pushed it into the waistband. He found she was shaved smooth, without even a tuft of hair on top—probably to keep her black pubic hair from contrasting with the bleached dye job. He approved of this plan. His fingers delved deeper and found a very wet, very hot slit awaiting them. Sakshi moaned loudly as he touched her there, as he hooked his middle finger and penetrated her.

“We seem to be a bit turned on, don’t we?” Rahul whispered in her ear. “I guess we nerds can arouse a woman of your breeding after all, can’t we?”

She didn’t answer. She simply kept panting while her pelvis began to grind against his hand, trying to force his finger deeper inside.

Namita suddenly broke free and rose up. She kissed Sakshi on the mouth while her hand dropped down and cupped Rahul’s from the outside of Sakshi’s panties. She probed with her tongue a few times, getting Sakshi to put her tongue out and then she pulled back.

“How does she feel, hon?” Namita asked, a little breathless herself at this point.

“Hot, wet, and reasonably tight,” Rahul told her.

“Mmmmm, just the way we like it,” Namita replied, leaning over Sakshi’s shoulder and giving Rahul a kiss. They swirled tongues for a few moments and then broke apart.

“Do you want to taste her?” Rahul asked.

“You know it, baby,” Namita replied.

He pulled his finger out of her pussy and out of her panties, which caused Sakshi to cry out in protest. It was shiny and wet, the odour of arousal radiating from it. He raised it up and brought it to Namita’s mouth. Looking Sakshi in the eye she sucked it slowly, her tongue gathering up the juices.

“Oh yessss,” Namita moaned. “You taste good, honey. Really good. It’s been a long time since I’ve tasted another woman’s pussy.”

“You guys are total perverts,” Sakshi whispered in awe. “You’re so nasty.”

“Yeah,” Namita said, pulling her mouth free of Rahul’s finger and kissing her again. “And you fucking love it, don’t you, you little bitch?”

Sakshi moaned but didn’t answer.

Namita grabbed Sakshi’s hair and pulled it sharply, jerking her head back a little. “Don’t you, bitch?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Sakshi said reluctantly. “I’ve never… I’m… I’m so hot right now.”

“Me too,” Namita said. “And its time I got a little relief.” She broke free of the embrace and sat down on the couch, her legs spread widely. She grabbed the hem of her summer dress and slowly pulled it upwards, baring her thighs and then her crotch. She had no panties on. Her black bush was intact on her pubis, but shaved smooth as a baby’s bottom around her pussy. Her lips were swollen with arousal, glistening in the light. She pulled the hem up even higher, over her stomach. The gold ring that had been installed in her belly button the night she’d first made love to a woman was still there, shining brightly. She patted the couch between her legs. “On your knees, bitch,” she said. “It’s time to start earning your keep.”

Sakshi looked at her pussy and shuddered, half in arousal, half in fear. “I’ve… never done this before,” she said. “I’m not sure if…”

“It’s time you learned then,” Namita said. “You’re going to eat my pussy until I come all over your face. Now get down here. I’ll tell you what to do.”

Rahul turned her by the shoulders and pushed gently downward. She didn’t resist. She sank to her knees between Namita’s feet, her hands dropping onto Namita’s bare thighs.

“Come on,” Namita said, putting her hand in Sakshi’s bleached hair and grabbing a handful.

Sakshi didn’t really have a chance to protest further. Her face was pulled down and smeared into Namita’s crotch.

“Yeah,” Namita moaned. “Now lick it. Lick your tongue up and down my pussy. Taste me, baby. Fuckin’ taste me! Mmmmm, that’s right. That’s just right.”

Rahul watched as the woman who had once humiliated him, who had recently looked at him as an easy path to getting what she wanted, licked and slathered her tongue all over his wife’s pussy. With each lick and suck, with each probe between Namita’s wet lips, she became more enthusiastic, until she was going after it with gusto and enthusiasm.

“Yes, baby, that’s it,” Namita told her, her fingers pinching her nipples through her dress. “That’s fuckin’ it!”

Rahul couldn’t take it anymore. It was time to get a little more into the game here. He ripped his shirt off and threw it across the room. He kicked his shoes off. He unbuttoned his pants and shoved them down along with his black bikini briefs, baring his throbbing hard-on. He stepped out of the pants and kicked them away. Now naked, he dropped to his knees behind Sakshi and put his hands on her waist, lifting her rear end until it was raised to the proper level. He didn’t even bother removing her panties. He simply pulled them to the side, revealing her bare slit, which was swollen, angry red, and almost drooling. He put the head of his cock between her lips and shoved forward, burying his cock into her tightness in one smooth thrust.

“Ohhhh,” Sakshi cried as she felt this, her face coming up out of Namita’s pussy. “Goddddd!”

“Nice, isn’t it?” Namita panted. “Now get back to work. Don’t break stride.” She pulled her face back down.

Rahul began to fuck in and out of her, starting slowly but quickly building up speed. She wasn’t as tight as Namita, who regularly worked her vaginal muscles, but she wasn’t loose either. The sensation was very pleasing, enhanced by the knowledge he was fucking a woman other than Namita—only the second woman he’d done such a thing with since they’d started dating.

Sakshi was having a hard time concentrating on Namita’s pussy as he pounded in and out of her. Namita constantly had to keep pulling her head back down, to keep reminding her to keep on target.

“Come on, bitch,” she told her. “Concentrate. Lick up and down. Put your tongue in and out. That’s right. That’s right. Now start licking at my clit. You know how to find it, don’t you, bitch? Yeah… that’s it.”

“Mmmm, ungghhh, ahhhhhhh,” Sakshi groaned as she tongued Namita’s clit and as Rahul’s balls slapped against her from behind.

“Come on, make me come, baby,” Namita told her. “Make me come. Lick that clit harder… Oooh yeah, now suck it a little… just a little. Mmmmm. You know what’s gonna happen after I come?”

“Whuu?” Sakshi moaned from around her swollen clit.

“Rahul’s gonna come in your pussy,” Namita told her. “He’s gonna pump a hot load right up that box of yours. And then do you know what’s gonna happen?”

“Whuu?”

Namita smiled, touching the side of her face tenderly. “I’m gonna flip you over and suck every drop of his come out of your pussy.”

This was more than Sakshi could take. Her body began to spasm and tremor, to shake all over. She raised her head from Namita’s pussy and screamed out in pure pleasure. Namita continued to stroke her face as she came, as the throes of her unexpected and powerful orgasm went on and on, having its way with her for the better part of a minute.

Only when the spasms ended did Namita push her face back down. “You had yours,” she told Sakshi. “Now give me mine.”

Namita’s didn’t take much longer. Within seconds of Sakshi attaching her mouth to Namita’s clit again, she began to shake and moan, her pelvis thrusting up and down.

“That’s it,” Rahul told her as he continued to pound in and out of her from behind. “Keep sucking it. Suck it harder. Lash it with your tongue while you suck it. She’s almost there.”

“Yesssss,” Namita moaned. “Oh fuck yessss!”

She came explosively and Sakshi kept up her duties throughout, sucking her clit as the spasms assaulted her. This was enough to cause a chain reaction in Rahul’s body. He’d been holding onto his control with every ounce of willpower he possessed pretty much since he’d first slid into Sakshi and started thrusting. Now he could contain himself no longer. He grabbed her hips and drove into her with everything he had, actually slamming her head into Namita’s crotch with each thrust. The orgasm burst through him, overwhelming his senses as he poured out his hot semen into her body. Sakshi groaned in pleasure with each blast.

Namita stood up as Rahul pulled his wilting cock from Sakshi’s body. “Roll over,” she told her, kicking the coffee table out of the way, spilling half full wine glasses and a glass vase full of fresh cut roses to the floor.

Sakshi’s eyes were now glazed with lust. She rolled unhesitant unto her back and spread her legs wide. Her pussy was swollen obscenely, drooling Rahul’s come. Namita dropped down to the floor and lowered her head, driving her tongue inside, licking and lapping all of it up.

“Ohhhhh, ohhhhh,” Sakshi moaned. “This is sooooo…” She couldn’t finish her thought because her second orgasm began to rip through her almost immediately.

Rahul’s cock decided to skip the resting period. It began to harden again almost immediately. He dropped down behind his wife and slid inside of her slick pussy where he began to thrust away to her vocal approval.

Namita ate Sakshi to two more orgasms, quenching her taste for pussy while Rahul fucked her from behind. He then blasted his second load into his wife, after which, Sakshi licked his offering clean. From there they moved to the bedroom, where they enjoyed each other for another hour, the three of them getting into every combination of mouths, cock, and pussies that they could think of. Rahul managed a third orgasm when Sakshi jacked him off all over Namita’s tits and stomach. Sakshi then spent the better part of five minutes licking every drop clean.

At last they lay back, sated, in the bed, Rahul between the two women, his arm around their bare shoulders. They dozed off for a while but awoke almost simultaneously around midnight. Sakshi seemed a little dazed as she extricated herself from their embrace and declared that she really should get home.

“We’d better sign that rental agreement before you go,” Namita told her, climbing out from beneath the covers and putting her feet on the floor.

“Yeah,” Rahul agreed. “I guess you’ve earned your discount for this month. We’ll give you the keys tonight and you can move in whenever you want.”

Sakshi smiled and headed downstairs, walking a little stiffly. They followed her down, both still naked, and watched as she began tracking down her clothes and getting dressed. It was as she was putting on her shoes that the little light bulb seemed to go off above her head. A look of concern crossed her face.

“Wait a minute,” she said. “Did you say, ‘this month’?”

Rahul and Namita smiled at each other. “We did,” Namita told her.

Sakshi looked from one to the other. “Are you saying… that… that… this wasn’t a one-time thing?”

“That’s part of the agreement,” Rahul told her. “As long as you’re paying the discounted rate, you owe us one evening a month of… alternate compensation.”

“Take it or leave it,” Namita said.

Sakshi looked at them, her mouth wide open again. Finally she shook her head and sighed. “I guess I’ll just have to take it,” she said. “What other choice do I have?”

“What choice indeed?” Namita asked her, blowing her a kiss.

Sakshi tried to hide her smile as she walked out the door.

 

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