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A Simple Gift

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Sam looked at the set of keys then at Neha. She smiled at him and nodded. He blinked. “You’re giving us the apartment?” He cast a furtive glance at Kunal.

"Haa. Just keep up the payments. Get another roommate. Whatever.” She blushed. “I don’t need it and I know you guys liked living here.

Sam glanced at Kunal again, arching his brow.

Kunal shrugged. "Why not? We liked the apartment and between us we can pay the rent. What have we got to lose?”

Sam stared at the other man for several seconds. He wondered if Kunal flashed back to the kiss as often as he did. And why the hell did Kunal have to look and smell so good today? Even in nothing more than rumpled shorts and a half-zipped sleeveless shirt, Kunal drew Sam’s interest. Drawing in a deep breath, Sam nodded. “Fine. “We’ll take it, but as your tenants. This is too expensive a gift.”

Neha laughed while giving him a hug. “There is not such thing as a gift too expensive in dostana.”

“Neha,” he growled, unable to hide his smile.

She gave his arm a half-hearted swat. “Just take it and no more arguing.”

Sam nodded then glanced at Kunal yet again. Something about the gleam in the other man’s eyes both unnerved and intrigued him. What was he up to? What devious thoughts filled his friend’s mind?

Kunal smirked. “It’s settled then.” He tossed the keys he held in the air and caught them effortlessly.

Neha hugged him, gave his arm a playful punch. “And you said he wouldn’t agree. See? You don’t know him as well as you think you do.”

"You asked him first?” Sam narrowed his eyes, staring at the pair.

Kunal met his gaze, smirked again and nodded. “I told her you’d resist, so I’m surprised at your easy surrender.”

Sam blinked then gave a slight shake of his head. He imagined the emphasis on ‘resist’ and ‘surrender.’ Kunal hadn’t really purred those words. That was a figment of his imagination. Sam chalked it up to his libido working overtime. He needed to get laid. “Whatever.”

Before he could read anything further into Kunal’s words or actions, Sam turned away and pointed to the master bedroom. “That one’s mine.”

“Hey! No fair!”

Sam slowly turned and smirked at the other man. “She told you first so I’m taking first pick of the bedrooms.”

Kunal glared and Sam simply kept smirking. The other man pursed his lips and let out an exasperated huff. “But I don’t want to share a bathroom with anyone else,” he muttered.

Sam stared at his friend. He must have misunderstood the other man. No way had Kunal admitted to wanting to share a bathroom again. Yeah, he needed to get laid before these aural hallucinations got him in trouble. He arched a brow. “Can you afford to pay half?”

Kunal nodded. “Haa. Neha and Abhi have given me plenty of assignments, and those have led to others.”

“If you can pay half and I can pay half, then we have no need for a roommate. No roommate, no need to share a bathroom.” Sam smiled.

Kunal watched him for a few seconds then nodded a second time. “I suppose.”

This reaction from Kunal struck Sam as a bit odd, and he watched his friend. Did he see disappointment in the other man’s expression? Visual hallucinations to go along with the aural ones now? “Just think about it. Our own bachelor pad. We can invite girls over any night we wish without having to worry about what the other roommate might think.” He tilted his head in Neha’s direction, a half smile teasing his lips.

“Sameer!” Neha smacked his arm again, a joyous grin wreathing her face.

He grinned back, cast a glance in Kunal’s direction. “Maybe a workout room?”

Kunal gave a shrug. “Yeah, that’s fine. Whatever.” He walked over to the door to his old bedroom. “I’ll just take this one again.”

Eyes narrowed, Sam watched the other man intently for a few seconds then looked at Neha. “What about your furniture?”

She smiled. “Let’s leave it here. Abhi and I have no need for it.” A hint of a blush turned her cheeks a delicate shade of rose.

Haa.” Sam nodded. “Um, what about the bedroom furniture?”

Neha’s blush deepened then her eyes widened. “Oh! I…well, if you’re taking the bedroom, then I guess it needs to be moved. Hmmm…”

The plan formed in Sam’s head even as the words left his lips. “I’ll just take my old room and we’ll convert the other bedroom once you’ve had a chance to move things.”

Kunal whirled and offered Sam the sweetest shy smile he’d ever seen.

Sam swallowed back the butterflies that smile induced in his stomach and smiled back. For the first time since Neha had offered them the apartment, Sam realized he might not be alone in what he was thinking. Only time would tell.