Ajay’s Birthday Gift
So glad to be here again for your Birthday Bash, Amber. Thanks for the invite. J My story is about Rajan and Ajay from A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood, the first book in the International Men of Sports series that I write with Devon Rhodes. As most of you know (at least I hope you read Devon’s post on the 11th) this is part two of Rajan and Ajay celebrating Ajay’s birthday. Check it out.
“Come on, Ajay. Get your arse moving.” Neel glared at him from where he stood in the doorway.
Ajay stared at him as he tucked in his shirt then grabbed his wallet and phone before stuffing them in his pockets. “What’s got you all worked up, Neel? I thought it was a simple dinner we were going to. You said you didn’t want to celebrate our birthdays until this weekend.”
“I don’t, but this is kind of an important person and I don’t want to irritate him by being late.” Neel shifted from foot to foot.
Eyeing him, Ajay smiled. “Is this someone you’re interested in? Are you already working on getting a boyfriend—or at least getting laid?”
The horrified look on Neel’s face caused Ajay to burst out laughing. “God no! Just come on, Ajay. It’s going to take a little while to get across town.”
“Where are we going?”
“Because you’re being an fucker, I’m not going to tell you.”
Ajay shrugged as he followed Neel out of the flat Neel was leasing until he figured out whether he wanted to get a house or not. Ajay couldn’t help but secretly hope that Neel didn’t like living in England and ended up returning to India.
He knew it was selfish, but he was going to miss his best friend. At least he still had Rajan to fill up all the empty spaces Neel leaving would create.
“I haven’t been able to get a hold of Raj today,” he muttered as Neel flagged down a taxi.
Neel held the door open for him. “I’m sure he’s fine. You said he had a pretty packed schedule, which was why he couldn’t come with us.”
After he climbed in, Ajay pulled his phone out again to check to see if Rajan had called him and he’d missed it. Nothing. By the time his attention was back on his friend, Neel had already told the driver where they were going and Ajay still had no idea where in London they were headed.
He stared out the window of the cab, watching the buildings and parks of London go by. As much as he was enjoying being in London with Neel, he couldn’t help wishing Rajan was with him. He knew his lover had visited the city several times and would probably know all the best places to visit.
“So are we going anywhere tomorrow after your meeting with your new manager?” He would sleep in while Neel was getting acquainted with his new teammates.
“We’ll see,” Neel hedged and Ajay stared at him. It certainly wasn’t like Neel not to have everything planned out down to the last second. It was scary at times how organized the man was.
“All right. Are you sure you’re okay with this move? If you don’t want to be here, then tell your agent. I’m sure he’ll be able to find a loophole and you can come back to India with me.” Ajay gripped Neel’s shoulder.
“I’m fine, Ajay. Don’t worry about me. Not tonight.”
The vehicle was slowing down and Ajay frowned as they came to a stop outside the Grosvenor House Hotel—a very nice hotel across from Hyde Park.
“Are we having dinner here,” he asked as they stepped out on to the sidewalk.
Neel shook his head then handed him a card. “I’m not having dinner here, but you are. Go up to room 620. Here’s the key.”
“What’s going on, Neel? Why aren’t you coming with me?”
Neel threw his arms around Ajay, giving him a tight hug and a quick kiss on the cheek. “It’s not my birthday, asshole. Go on up and get your present.”
Before Ajay could stop him, Neel dashed down the street, heading God knew where. Ajay turned the card over and over in his fingers, but decided there was nothing to do except go up and see what was waiting for him in the hotel room.
Knowing Neel, it could be anything or anyone. Neel had gotten him some very odd presents over the years they’d been friends. Yet the luxurious look and feel of the Grosvenor made Ajay hope that Neel wasn’t up to his usual tricks.
The well-dressed doorman held open the door for Ajay and nodded as he walked through. Ajay tugged on the cuff of his shirt, wishing Neel had warned him because he might have dressed a little better. The hotel was definitely a 5 star experience.
He found the elevators and punched the sixth floor button once he got on. Ajay kept his head down as people joined him. It wasn’t that he believed anyone would recognize him, but he really wasn’t interested in talking to anyone at the moment.
The elevator opened on the sixth floor and he wandered down the hallway, studying the numbers on the door. When he got to 620, he slid the card into the door lock and waited for the click to let him know it was unlocked.
Ajay took his time opening the door, not wanting to be surprised by anything as he stepped in.
“Are you coming in, honey? Or are you just going to stand out in the hallway the rest of the night?”
Shock and joy raced through him when he heard Rajan’s voice come from further inside the suite. Ajay dashed into the living area to find Rajan standing there, arms wide.
Ajay threw himself into Rajan’s arms, pressing their lips together. It was a few minutes before they broke apart long enough for him to ask, “What are you doing here, Raj?”
“I couldn’t let you spend your birthday with just Neel, love. Not that we aren’t going to hang out with him this weekend. Since we got back together, we haven’t spent any special days apart. I didn’t want to start this year.” Rajan cupped Ajay’s face in his hands, rubbing his thumbs over Ajay’s lips.
His heart leapt at how much love shone in Rajan’s eyes. Knowing that his partner couldn’t be away from him and being able to spend his birthday with the man he loved made Ajay tear up.
“No tears, Ajay. I have dinner set up here then I’ll show your present that’s in the bedroom.” Rajan winked.
Laughing, Ajay drew Rajan close again, pressing their mouths together to savor another deep kiss. His birthday just got a whole lot better.
* * * * *
See how Rajan and Ajay got together in A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood!
A handsome Bollywood actor must choose between his career and a rugged cricket player from his past, who he’s fallen in love with…again.
Rajan Malik has the world of Bollywood in the palm of his hand…a beautiful girlfriend, starring roles, adoring fans…He should be happy, but behind the façade lies a man conflicted and exhausted by the pressure placed on him by his ill mother, his agent and society. His life is not his own, and all he wants to do is escape.
Indian Premier League cricketer Ajay Singh can’t believe how bad his university roommate Rajan looks when he spots his picture in the paper. They had parted on bad terms. Still, he’s moved to offer Rajan his support by renewing their friendship.
But friendship was not all they shared back then. Though Ajay is out, Rajan isn’t willing to give up his carefully cultivated Bollywood image to be with him publicly. And with very little privacy, it won’t take long for someone to find out they are more than friends.
Their renewed secret affair is fraught with difficulties as they deal with the death of Rajan’s mother, the secret of Rajan’s till-now absent father, a jealous friend, intrusive social media, and threatening notes from someone who seems to know all about their private lives.
It’s a bit of a sticky wicket they find themselves in. Will it be too late when both men finally realise that they’ll need to compromise, or stand to lose everything?
* * * *
Win an ebook copy of A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood (or winner’s choice from my backlist if you prefer)! Just leave a comment below and we’ll draw at least one winner (or maybe more!). 😀