Mr. Imperfect Series (Complete Collection)

By Aditi Chopra

Romance, General fiction

Paperback, eBook

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603
2 mins

Love Tango

“I can’t come in today,” she said.

Tahir Ali sighed. He ran his fingers through his slightly ruffled dark hair. “Really? What about next week? Will you be here, or shall I start looking for a replacement?”

“Why’re you raising your voice?” she asked. “I said I’ll be coming back.”

Tahir slammed the phone down and knocked his fist on the table.

All the restaurant tables were booked for the night and Tahir couldn’t believe that Laila was bailing on him at the last minute. She had been performing her belly dance routines at his restaurant, Istanbul Café, for the past five years but this was the first time she had cancelled. When Laila performed, she invariably mesmerized everyone with her perfectly rehearsed dance moves, in particular the sword sequence. In fact, she was so brilliant and consistent that Tahir never had to look for a standby.

Tahir’s restaurant had become quite popular in Dallas in the last couple of years, thanks to all the wonderful reviews on Yelp. In fact, he was extremely proud when his restaurant made the top page for on-line searches of Mediterranean restaurants in the Dallas metroplex. But now he felt pressured to maintain its reputation.

Tahir hurriedly reached out to his assistant. “Hey, listen – do you think you can find another dancer for tonight? Laila won’t be able to make it…I would look myself but I have to step out for something else right now.”

“For tonight?” His assistant hesitated. “Well, OK…I can try it but I can’t promise…you know, we …”

“I know, I know,” Tahir interrupted him, “just do your best. Call me if you find something, OK?”

Tahir didn’t even wait to see what his assistant would say; he grabbed his phone and stepped out the door.

***

It was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, a relatively cool summer day in Dallas. Dressed in her best jeans and a long kurti, her hair tied in a bun, Maya Sarin waited at her favorite restaurant; the aroma of fresh Mexican food was impossible to resist for her.

Maya got up as soon as she saw Nikki, who looked garden-fresh in her long blue skirt and delicate top. Nikki always dressed well and carried herself professionally. Her demeanor reflected her workaholic personality.

“Hi Maya, so good to see you.” Nikki said.

“Hi.” Maya turned around as she got tapped on the shoulder by Sonali who stood behind her. Sonali was casually dressed in capri pants and an orange T-shirt. She wasn’t the kind to be worried about her looks.

“There you are!” Maya hugged Sonali. “How’s the MBA coming along?”

Sonali shrugged, “Don’t ask, it’s super-busy.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the pace,” Nikki chimed in.

Over the course of the last year, Maya had gotten pretty close to both Nikki and Sonali; they had become each other’s support system.

Maya placed her right hand on her tummy. “Let’s get some food, guys. I don’t know about you but I’m starving.”


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