EXCERPT #1

Desire is incapable of hypocrisy.  The thought broke through Rahul Kapoor's mind as he prepared to tell his first lie of the day.  Sitting at his desk, Rahul stared at the framed picture of his wife and son, their laughter trapped beneath glass.  His finger ran over the surface and he touched them, almost feeling the planes and curves of Pooja’s beautiful face, the softness of her pink chiffon sari, Ajay's weathered leather jacket.

We can force ourselves to tolerate certain people, to acclimate to a job we detest, and for a while, even rein ourselves in with logic and common sense, he thought.  But we are truly helpless against the heart and its obdurate desires.
Rahul’s finger trailed off the pane of glass, leaving behind an oily smudge.  He looked at his watch.  It was three-thirty in the afternoon.  If he left now, he could beat the evening traffic.  He stood up and absentmindedly packed his leather briefcase, threw on a navy blue suit jacket and called his assistant Amelia, sitting on the other side of the busy bank office, surrounded by her coterie of little stuffed toys.

He made his excuses about visiting important clients, about being unable to make it back in time due to traffic and she, in her typical, obsequious manner, assured him that everything was under control.  Los Angeles, after all, was not kind to wayfarers or commuters.

Clutching his briefcase, Rahul left his corner glass office and cut across the lobby to pick up a few sales brochures for effect.  A queue of impatient clients paying credit card and mortgage bills, making deposits, or just withdrawing money because they were untrusting of the ATM machine looked at him expectantly.  He ignored them.  He was a man in love, removed from the mundane.  Rahul said his perfunctory goodbyes to a few employees, one of them too busy to notice, and made for the door like a convict for whom the prison gates had miraculously opened in the middle of the night.