Destiny is strange. But Love, is stranger. It finds you when you are not looking. You find it in someone,
you were not expecting. That’s how it is.
Laura Fernandez was a brusque woman. Heading one of the 12 syndicates of Malaysian mafia at the ripe
age of 24 was no easy feat. Intelligence services of many countries were hot on her trail and death
loitered right behind, like a shadow. About a week ago, in a faceoff with armed forces at the border, her
main personal guard was killed. And so their family butler, Victor had delegated another one in her
defense. A man in his early 30s, Aishwarya was an Indian expatriate, orphaned for as long as he could
remember. With no specific features at his disposal unlike Laura who was known for her wits and beauty
alike, his only redemption lied in martial arts.
She didn’t like the man for reasons unknown. Was it those features that bordered towards feminism or
that nonchalance that never left those features or both? Or was it the unapologetic disregard for her
decisions on many occasions? Nonetheless, that disregard always helped and therefore, he stayed.
Things would have continued down the line as such but there is always a turning point, one that makes
just anyone into the one. For her, it happened in her times of despair. When the head honcho of her
family, her grandfather passed away, she was left desolate and hollow. His love had been the only one
she had known and now she had no one to turn to, to talk or to share. She had blood of countless on her
hands but that didn’t mean she knew not of pain. And that anguish was unbearable.
Aishwarya a.k.a the walking wall reached out to her in that time.
Seated in her office, her fingers flipped through the pages of the file while her gaze was distant. Focus
couldn’t be found for heart was heavy. His memories were here but he was not. And the thought killed
her over and over. She felt contradicted; she wanted to be found yet wanted no one to find out.
“Milady?” the familiar voice beckoned her eyes to look up into his face. She had been too forlorn to
register his presence.
“I apologize”, He bowed as she cocked her brows confused, “For what?”
“For this”, And before she could comprehend, her face was muffled into his waist coat. She blinked her
eyes in confusion as the hands behind her head patted her hair in a manner remotely akin to affection.
“I am here, so you can cry. Don’t bottle it up”
If it would have been any other situation, she would’ve had Victor lashed the impudent man to death for
encroaching on her personal space and taking undue liberties of her benevolent behavior. A farfetched
thought for this warmth was much needed now more than ever.
Those comforting words proved to be her undoing. Confusion paved way to realization as memories of
her beloved grandpa came rushing back and her eyes tore up. Her fingers clutched behind his back, and
taking him by surprise she jumped up to hug him throwing her arms over his shoulders. They swayed a
little before he gained his footing and tightened his hold on her. She mumbled and cried as her tears and
snot soaked into his coat. But he stayed until she felt a little less miserable and pulled away
embarrassed, in lieu of her bold actions.
“I’ll excuse myself then”, he forwarded her his handkerchief and bowed. Taking the handkerchief as she
nodded, he turned to leave but stopped short of the door.
She looked at his forever impeccable back as he tilted his head, “You can always talk to me. I’m quite a
listener”. And he left, leaving her smiling.
He had reached out to her when everyone had been too afraid to even approach. And it had made all
In his defense, he could understand the agony she was going through. He had been there once.
Unfortunately, he had none to cajole him, not even falsely.
Darkest of times reveal the best of the people. What pulled her to him was emotional dependence. His
practiced apathy had been a mask to protect him; she was able to surmise from their conversations.
With him, she could talk things she never knew she had wanted to talk about, badly at that- Love, life,
friendships, individuality, loneliness and most of all herself.
“You don’t look for love, it happens”, He had said during one such conversation when she had shared
that she knew nothing of romantic love.
“That what happens for the very first time is love, I think. Because you know nothing about it. Get your
heart broken once, and you will probably doubt if you ever even knew what it was”
She had seen him on the verge of tears, as he had blinked them back as quickly as possible. She had
wanted to ask who that person had been but could never muster enough strength, for she feared if he
would move back behind the walls. She needed him too much to risk that.
The more you see someone, the more gorgeous they become. It had started to prove true in her case.
His totally average features now seemed to be bordering close to beautiful. His occasional, solely
reserved for her soft smiles would make her heart giddy. The more she saw of him, the more erratic her
beats would get. She longed for conversations with him and had become so habitual of his presence that
she wanted to get even closer. She had legit started daydreaming about him.
“I want to be hugged again!” Laura mumbled fiercely into the pillow, vividly able to recall how secure his
arms had felt. And she could not just ask him to do that, because her pride was infallible, and most of all
she didn’t want to be embraced out of obligation, but his own will.
If Victor was to see her fawning over a man, Aishwarya at that, he was sure to lecture her to death
about propriety, status and appearances. To hell with that!
She wanted to get closer and was going to make it happen, no matter the means.
Boss Lady’s mannerisms had changed drastically over the weeks. The nasty looks had metamorphosed
to compassionate ones. Her changed behavior betrayed hints of affection towards him. But he did not
want to get ahead of himself. He had loved once but it wasn’t reciprocated. And when he was loved, he
couldn’t reciprocate. His heart felt void and he just wanted to be loved, wanted to experience what
being loved to madness would mean.
And a chance presented itself when Laura got intoxicated during New Year celebrations.
“I—thin-nk I’m in l-love with you!” She slurred, cornering him into a pillar, as she trailed her fingers
languorously along his jawline.
His heart thudded rapidly then as her beautiful blue eyes smoldered over. And soon a desire that
usurped all rationale coursed through his veins as his brown eyes glazed over and he leaned in.
“You think, my lady?! Prove it then!” He challenged as their lips met in an explosive kiss.
In an impulsive, spur of the moment decision, special covert operation officer from R&A, Nandita Daas
abandoned her motives and engaged her target, Class S wanted criminal, Laura Fernandez in an
They had only kissed but the weight of this indulgence burdened Nandita greatly. Closing the gates
behind her, she pried the beard off her face and undressed, extricating the skin graft chest plate that
had her breasts buried underneath. She traced the lips that had tasted Laura and sighed deeply. Her
main task had been to assassinate traitor, Debu D’cousta who had defected to Laura’s side during the
previous operation. Last week, she had shot him down on account of being a double agent. But what
was she to do with these flimsy feelings that were choking her?
Laura adored Aishwarya but she was Nandita, not only a woman but a police officer at that. Even though
it was her duty, betraying Laura felt wrong especially when she had trusted Aishwarya so much. Even
though she had resolved to spare no consideration to feelings of others, she couldn’t hurt Laura. She
had become someone precious, the closest she could feel to love.
What should she do? Should she betray her country for Laura, for a killer with blood of countless of
innocents? Or should she bury her budding feelings and kill her? What will be the right thing? And what if
Laura were to kno—
“You really are a woman!”
Snapping out of her soliloquy, Nandita whipped around aghast to see Laura staring at her in disbelief,
with Victor in tow.
“What a fool I was, to trust you. You filthy spy!”
“Had fun at the expense of my naivety?”
“It’s not like tha—
“I fell for a woman!” Laura advanced unto Nandita and stared her right in the eyes. “Can’t be true?”
And with that her lips lightly caressed hers before pulling away, her eyes madly ecstatic. “But indeed. It
is true!” She broke into a hysteric laughter before stopping suddenly.
“Did you ever like me?” Laura asked, her face a mask of indifference.
“Yes”, Nandita replied as she raised her hand to touch Laura but she pulled back.
“Do you, now?”
“Will you stay?”
It was then Nandita fisted her fingers and closed her eyes. Time spent with her family, the accident and
the years she had spent toiling all, flashed by.
“Answer me?!” Laura shouted as she pulled out a pistol and pressed it against her temple.
Nandita remained still while her heart raced. She recalled all her achievements, accolades and the
praises. She had worked so hard for it. But-
“Aishwarya!!” Laura called out yet again, her finger gradually closing in on the trigger.
But what use will be those accolades when she will be dead. She’d rather live a loved woman than die a
patriot, nameless one at that.
Determined, she opened her eyes and looked Laura square in hers. Her eyes betrayed nothing but her
fingers on the pistol were trembling.
Ah! This woman….she really does like me.
Nandita smiled despite the situation and nodded. And soon Victor standing in the doorway crumpled to
the ground. Startled, she looked behind Laura to see Victor bleeding from the center of his forehead,
while Laura lowered both the pistols and slipped them back into her pantsuit.
“No one else should know. I don’t want to lose you. Gender doesn’t matter” Laura turned to her and
caressed her cheeks as Nandita leaned in and nodded. “As you say, Milady”
“Who are you?”
Laura laughed at that and hugged her. “I love you”
“And I am falling”.