I was in Delhi for a meeting with a client. He was Italian and was interested in investing in our Hotel chain. The man owned companies and businesses all around the world. Leonardo Bianchi was an enigma for the world. He was a very private person. Was rarely seen in public and had never been photographed with any woman.
He was in his middle thirties, possibly thirty-five or thirty-six in age. Leonardo Bianchi came from a humble background and had worked hard to reach where he was today. He had approached me through a business acquaintance, Shahwar Hassan.
We met for lunch at a restaurant in one of our hotels. Shahwar and I had arrived at the restaurant and were waiting for Leonardo, along with our secretaries, discussing our businesses. Shahwar's wife was a good friend of Mia, we both have been back and forth between Delhi and Panaji, and our family's had gotten closer.
"How are Mia and the kids?" Shahwar asked.
"They are good, how are Rushna and your daughter?"
"Rushna is driving me crazy, she wants to celebrate our anniversary at your resort in Bali," Shahwar said with a scowl.
"I can give you a discount," I teased him.
Rushna was a decent lady with only one flaw, she was always hell-bent on showing off their wealth. Larger than life parties and celebrations was her motto in life. No wonder she wanted to celebrate her anniversary in Bali.
"Dude, the discount is the last thing on my mind. She has mapped out activities for a week. I have been too busy with the business and I don't think I can spare a week," He shrugged his shoulders.
"Come on, you need a good vacation. You have been working too hard. Look at your face, you look a decade older than your age," I teased again.
"Ohh, Waleed, I am a normal human, not a Superman-like you who is running a business all around the world maintaining a six-pack," Shahwar jested.
"Mia, won't let me within a distance of ten feet around her if I as much gained an ounce of fat on my body," Mia was obsessed with my abs, to the extent that she had threatened me with divorce if I lose them.
"She is something," Shahwar smiled.
"She is my life," I replied.
"How do you guys keep things heated even after years of marriage?"
"Our flame never diminished, it's like we can never get enough of each other," I smiled remembering our last time before I came to Delhi.
Mia had never disappointed me, she had always been eager to try new things and never backed off from anything. She let me test her limits as well as mine.
"You are a lucky bastard," Shahwar punched my shoulder.
"That I am," I smirked.
There was a sudden buzz in the restaurant, I turned and looked at the source and understood the charge in the air. Leonardo Bianchi had entered the restaurant with his two assistants and four bodyguards. They were all dressed in black tailored suits with blue tooth headsets in their ears, except for Bianchi, who was wearing a grey colored three-piece suit.
The man screamed power and exuberance. His walk was firm, and he took each step with such confidence like he owned the world. His black hair was combed back and in a sleek way. The most significant feature in his personality was the aura of invincibility around him.
I had seen people looking at me the way I was looking at Bianchi right now. I couldn't deny the fact that this man had impressed me with just his presence.
His guards positioned themselves around our table, which was in the middle of the dining room. Shahwar and I stood up to greet Bianchi.
"Leonardo Bianchi, and you must be 'The Waleed Kamal', " Bianchi extended his hand as he introduced himself.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Bianchi," I shook his hand in a firm shake.
"Call me Leo," he smiled, flashing his dimples.
If I had not got hardened on the thought of Mia, a few minutes ago. I would have doubted my sexuality. Leonardo radiated such masculinity that it was nearly impossible to not get affected. I could only imagine his effect on ladies.
"For that, you will have to visit Panaji," I smiled politely at him.
"I have been in your city last week, but unfortunately I had my schedule pack," Bianchi spoke in his thickly accented English, "Never mind, I will make sure to leave a slot free for a family dinner with you when I am there the next time," he gave a nod and gestured us to sit.
We started discussing the business after settling. Bianchi's assistant Dominico was the one who did all the talking, while Bianchi sat with his one arm on the table and the other in his pocket and regarding me with his obsidian eyes. He hadn't spoken much during the whole conversation. It was Dominico who kept asking questions and replying to ours.
Leonardo had his eyes fixed on me, and I was feeling a little uncomfortable under his piercing gaze. Still, I kept my composure and kept answering the queries Dominico kept shooting at me.
"Have you been to Rome, Mr.Kamal?" Bianchi asked all of sudden, taking us by surprise.
"Yes, many times," I replied politely.
"When was the last time," he asked with his eyes locked with mine.
"Last year, with my wife," I answered wondering where this conversation was heading.
"Perhaps next time you should try visiting, Sicily. I own ancestral home in Sicily and I will be delighted to host you," Bianchi said with a predatorial glint in his eyes, or maybe I was just imagining things.
"It would be an honor," I gave him a tight smile.
My cell started ringing, it was Mia, I was about to turn the cell silent when Bianchi spoke," Take the call, Mr. Kamal. We are in no hurry."
I gave him a nod and received the call," Waleed," Mia's voice sounded panicked.
"Is everything okay?" I said rising from my chair.