The Braille Club Undone (The Braille Club #3) (8 page)

BOOK: The Braille Club Undone (The Braille Club #3)
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Chapter 16

 

The Braille Club Undone

 

The Braille Club, London. Two Years On. Pandora Zone
.
Suddenly Siena and Benedict stiffen, confused by the second bell. The air changes again; Siena is aware of power and arrogance as new fingers grab her left wrist and roughly snap the cuffs on, joining them completely. They are both rigid, barely breathing. Their bodies and minds a cacophony of volatile emotions.

 

Virinder

 

Virinder was extremely nervous, so much so he’d lost weight over the last few weeks, although he’d barely noticed. He was to attend his first sensory lesson today and he was trying to keep calm. Beads of sweat glistened on his forehead as he approached a woman seated at a desk.

“Virinder, lovely to meet you. I’m Grace, and you’re right on time. Please come this way.”

Virinder followed her into a room, his heart crashing around in his chest. This was a bad idea, he thought. He took a deep breath.

“Please sit, Virinder. Can I offer you a refreshment?”

“No,” said Virinder. “I’m fine.”

 

Grace

 

Grace looked at the man opposite her and knew the last thing he felt was fine. When she looked at his file, she knew the sensory suit would not be right for his first lesson. She always looked at member’s files to assess how best to proceed. He was so nervous he was practically shaking. Grace would have to adopt a different approach with this member. She had explained everything and showed him the sensory devise she would be using today. To most people it looked unremarkable, it was only after they had used it that is full potential was revealed. She knew at once what she must do. Taking the hood from the case in front of her, she approached him.

“Virinder, today you will experience a journey of both mind and body. I am going to put the blindfold on now. You must listen to everything I tell you. She slipped it quickly over his head and heard his sharp intake of breath.

“Virinder, the object of this game is not to move your hands or make the bell ring. During this time you cannot speak. Please nod your head if you understand and want to proceed.

 

Virinder

 

Virinder nodded his head, his anxiety at record levels. His hands were shaking in his lap and he was finding it hard to breathe. Suddenly a voice in his ear through the hood had his full attention. Gradually, bit by bit, he relaxed, the voice and music soothing him. He stiffened when cuffs were attached to his wrists. His earlier calm gone as his nerves returned worse than ever. Virinder was suddenly enveloped in a delicious scent. He breathed it in; it was neither feminine or masculine but sensual, sexy and potent. Somehow, he was aware of warmth and movement but not touch. He sat there waiting; his whole body tense and expectant. A graze of lips on his neck had him jerking his head in surprise. The cuffs vibrated violently. A fingertip on his lip made him shudder. He held his breath as it glided back and forth. Heat suffused his face. A pressure in his lap as something heavy was placed there. Noor’s face entered his mind, her dark eyes with lashes so long they curl upwards; breathtaking. But the hardness he sees there ruins their beauty. Her mocha skin is flawless over the mask of her face. Her lips plump and pink and, although she hides it, he knows they are quick to sneer. She is beautiful. He wondered if his father made the choice on purpose to degrade him even further. He might have had a chance with a plain girl but not with this calculating beauty. Love marriages were popular now within his culture. Some even married outside their caste.
The caste system was a class structure that was determined by birth. Loosely, it means that in some societies, if your parents are poor, you're going to be poor, too. Same goes for being rich.
His family however were traditionalists. He saw his father watching Noor. Was he suspicious of her too? Why would she consent to marry him when she could have any man she wanted? Of course, he knew of her father’s financial ruin and its disastrous implications. Noor had little choice. Her father had no money to pay for a wedding. He couldn’t even get a loan; such was his social standing. However, Noor had been born into a rich family and that’s all that mattered.

The graze of lips on his skin makes him sigh. In his mind it is Noor’s lips. The fingertip gliding around his mouth is now Noor’s. All at once, his body and mind come alive. He allows himself to fall headlong into his fantasy. Dormant feelings come rushing through his body. Desire. Although repressed. He always knew it existed. It roared now. Filled him completely as soft vibrations came from the weight across his lap. Lost in sensation, Virinder’s reawakened body strained not to move. His sensitised skin burned where her touch scorched him, but when the kiss came he lost all control. Velvet softness. Lush and full. Passion hotter than fire seared their mouths together and then everything stopped.

Virinder almost cried out in his shock and distress. The kiss. Why had it stopped? He was reeling. Gradually, he became aware everything had stopped. The vibrations, the music and the touch. He sat panting, trying to collect his thoughts. His cheeks were wet and he realised he was crying. Great shuddering sobs made his shoulders shake. As the emotional tidal wave engulfed him, he was powerless to stop it. He lost time. Sitting in the dark, his unhappiness laid bare, he heard Grace’s kind voice.

“Virinder, each member’s journey provides them with an intense experience. We often take what we feel...or don’t feel, for granted. The Braille Club is, above all else, a sensory encounter. The eyes are your motherboard. They control and filter, but without them, your remaining senses become sharpened, honed and overactive. You will learn from your next lesson. When you are ready, please remove the hood. The room lights are dimmed but take as much time as you need.”

Virinder nodded and slowly pulled the hood from his hot and sweaty face. He sat slumped, his eyes blinking as jumbled thoughts filled his mind. He was appalled and thrilled in equal measure. Thrilled by the experience the lesson had given him but appalled to realise he was attracted to Noor.
No, no, no
, he thought desperately and yet he already longed for his next lesson. Virinder stumbled from the room. He was angry with himself, angry at his weakness. He didn’t realise he was at the gym until someone spoke to him. He stood on the running machine. He put it on and started to walk. He didn’t look at his reflection. An hour later, Noor was no longer in his thoughts. His body no longer craved her touch. He was exhausted but at last content. He knew what he needed to do. When she tried to get into his head, he would come here until he drove her and every other thought from his mind.

Chapter 17

 

The Braille Club Undone

 

The Braille Club, London. Two Years On. Siena feels the touch to her shoulder. Still connected, they brace themselves as music floods the room, the braille clock is flashing...the patrons are ready…the game is about to begin. Welcome to “Pandora”, The Braille Club’s newest zone
.

 

Noor

 

Noor wasn’t sure how she got through that first fifteen minutes. Smiling and nodding. Virinder’s sullen silence filled the room. It took Noor quite a while before she realised he didn’t like her. He seemed to see through her and worst of all; she feared he was against the marriage. Well, fuck him, she thought savagely. He didn’t get to choose. She stifled a giggle. He was powerless to stop what his parents wanted. They wanted her. Their marriage would go ahead and Virinder didn’t look happy about that either. His mother was talking nervously; trying to be polite. When she offered refreshments, Noor gratefully accepted. She was hungry; there was nothing to eat at home. Noor had spent most of the shopping allowance on clothes and cosmetics. She viewed it as a worthwhile investment. After all, she must look the part as well as play it. Left alone with Virinder, they sat in silence. Noor gazed around the opulent room. The ceilings went the full height of the house. The immense room was light. There were large, open, glass doors leading out to a balcony. A fusion of colourful plants cascaded from the baskets hanging over the railings. Large tubs along the length of the balcony held exotic plants and foliage. Although the room itself was neutral, there was colour everywhere. From the large rich rug below her feet to the art that hung on the walls. She sat on a cream leather couch around which was a wonderful fire centred in the middle of the room

“Noor, my dear,” said Maalik. He walked confidently across the room.

Noor turned and her breath caught. Mr Bashir was looking directly at her. This time her blush was genuine. The heat making her cheeks burn.

“Mr Bashir,” she mumbled nervously.

“Call me father,” he said smiling, shooting a glance at his son. Virinder looked uncomfortable.

“Father,” she said. Lifting her head, she gave him a radiant smile. Her body tingled as excitement flooded through her. She bowed her head and smiled. She was attracted to him.

He didn’t sit beside her but crossed the large room to what could only be his chair. The armchair was covered in the finest leather. Its rich coffee tones contrasting with the cream and coffee tasselled cushions.

“Virinder,” said Maalik sharply.

Noor noticed him flinch.

Maalik’s tone softened. “Go help your mother with the tray.”

Virinder nodded and silently lumbered from the room. The atmosphere seemed to lighten with every step he took away from them. Noor saw Virinder as a poor replica of his father. Maalik’s face was strong and confident whereas his son’s was weak and unsure. They shared the same thick dark hair although Maalik had threads of silver through his. This only seemed to add to his appeal. He was as handsome as any Bollywood actor, Noor thought, now she had a chance to study him, albeit covertly from below her lashes.

“Where is your father this evening, Noor?” His voice was low and authoritative.

“I’m-m-m sorry,” she stuttered. Her unexpected attraction to Maalik was making her tongue-tied. “He’s unwell this evening,” said Noor breathlessly.

Maalik sighed, “I am sorry to hear that. Nothing serious I hope?”

A picture of her father lying drugged in bed flashed through Noor’s head. “No, he’s just under the weather.”

“Please give him our best wishes for a speedy recovery,” Maalik said sincerely. “Would you like to see the house?”

Noor really wanted something to eat but the thought of being alone with Maalik made her heart race. She forgot about her hunger.

“Yes,” she whispered. She stood and hesitantly walked towards him. At first she had only been consumed with Virinder and securing him as her husband. However, she saw something she liked even better. The thrill of it was making her giddy. She wanted Maalik for herself. She’d studied Nina, she must have been beautiful, but like her son it was hidden beneath her fat. Her eyes were a luminous green like Virinder’s. He had inherited the best and the worst from his mother. Noor was letting her infatuation with Maalik cloud her judgement. She forgot her own principles. Never get involved. Never get personal when it comes to business, and this was business. Noor must secure a rich husband. The money was all she cared about. People who had experienced riches found it hard to live any other way. Noor was no different. She longed for financial stability and an escape route from her current existence.

Maalik led her into a library. “Do you read, Noor?” he asked distractedly.

“Not really,” she admitted.

“I shall change that,” Maalik smiled, stroking the spine of a book with long, elegant fingers. Noor looked around. Books were lined up from floor to ceiling in elegant cases. There was a large mahogany desk and captain’s chair to the side. In front of an unlit fireplace was another fine leather winged chair. It was worn but still beautiful.

“This is wonderful,” she breathed. It was the essence of Maalik. She could smell his scent everywhere. The room was masculine, powerful and reeked of money. A heady cocktail; she couldn’t wait to taste it. He was behind her and she slowly turned.

“Take this and read it,” he smiled, handing her the book. They were so close she could feel his breath on her face. His dark eyes were intense and for a moment, she thought he would kiss her...“Maalik?”

He turned as he heard his wife’s voice. “Ah,” he said reluctantly. “The food has arrived.”

The disappointment Noor experienced was quickly replaced by hunger as she smelled the wonderful aromas filling the room. They left the library and returned to the lounge. Everything was delicious. Noor ate with relish.

“Mrs Bashir, the food is lovely.”

She smiled at Noor. “Thank you.”

Noor noticed Virinder hadn’t touched a thing. Was he trying to pretend he didn’t eat?

He’d barely glanced at her since the food had been served. She was surprised to see how quickly the time had passed. Excusing herself, she went to the bathroom. As she washed her hands and reapplied her lipstick she noticed how pink her face was. She giggled a little. Yes, she was feeling the flush of attraction all right, but not with her fiancé. When she returned she felt Maalik’s gaze on her.

“I must call a taxi,” said Noor, rummaging for her mobile.

“No,” said Maalik quickly. “I’ll take you home, Noor.”

Panic filled her. She didn’t want him to see where she lived; it would ruin everything.

“No, Mr Bashir, there is...

“I will drive you,” said Maalik firmly. She looked at Virinder and could see the relief on his face that she was leaving.

“Virinder,” she said sweetly. “Would you like to come too?”

She saw him recoil as she smiled at him. A silence filled the room as they waited for his response. He shrugged.

“It’s all right, Virinder, you stay and help your mother clear up” said Maalik quickly.

A thrill of panic and excitement went through Noor, but she knew arguing would be pointless. Maalik’s car was luxurious. The large Mercedes seemed to glide along. Noor had forgotten about the earlier taxi driver. She was aware of Maalik; of his hands on the gear stick and his scent. His voice as he spoke to her. She had been embarrassed to give her address but his face had been unperturbed. When they turned into her street he stopped, pulling in behind a large parked van. She could see that the shop was open; the light spilling out from its windows. Her uncle would be sitting watching the television as always. Her father, she hoped, was still asleep. Shame made her mouth go dry. He was obviously too embarrassed to take her to her door. Shaking, she reached for the handle.

“Noor,” his voice was low.

When his hand touched her it was like a jolt of electricity. Her skin sizzled. She stopped moving and barely breathed.

“There is no shame in where you live or what you do. You are safe now but I need to know everything. Do you understand?” he said quietly.

Noor could hardly concentrate as his hand gently stroked hers. “We have nothing,” she sighed.

“You have family now, that is all you need. I will take care of everything. Your father?”

Noor’s eyes filled with unexpected tears. “He’ll be better tomorrow,” Noor lied flatly. It was enough, Maalik understood how she lived, without knowing about her father. Noor knew she must tell eventually, but perhaps a better time would present itself.

“Good,” said Maalik.

Noor couldn’t speak. His fingers brushed away her tears. She turned and looked into his eyes.

“Thank you,” she whispered. Her eyes never left his handsome face. When he lifted her hand and kissed it, she shivered. The air in the car seemed to tighten. Noor held her breath. Suddenly a rap on the window made her jump. Her cousin’s face grinned at her. She was heading to the shop to help her father, Noor’s uncle. Annoyed, Noor gave her a dismissive wave but the spell was broken. What was she thinking wanting Maalik to kiss her in plain sight? What if her cousin had seen them? Nook shuddered at her stupidity. No. Nothing must stop this marriage. She turned to Maalik.

“I need to go, but thank you for running me home.”

 

Maalik

 

“Noor, do you have a mobile number so I may contact you regarding arrangements for the wedding?” he asked, not meeting her gaze. His breath quickened as she told him her number and he punched it into his phone with trembling fingers. This was madness but he had never felt like this—ever. He was mesmerised by his son’s fiancée. She opened the car door and slipped out. He watched her until she disappeared into the shop before putting the car into gear. He was trembling all over. He’d almost kissed her in the library and now again in the car. Had he lost his mind? Gripping the steering wheel, he drove home in a daze. He had been annoyed with Virinder and his childish behaviour. Suddenly his annoyance turned to anger. Virinder didn’t deserve such a beautiful wife.

BOOK: The Braille Club Undone (The Braille Club #3)
5.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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