He could not believe it. Five years. It had been five years since he had seen her lovely dark sparkling eyes, her flowing hair which just waved about like it had life of its own, her luscious lips....
He was mortified to find that this was the best he could even summon up as he tried to cover up for the shock that he was feeling as seeing Karunya again.
"Aman?" She looked confused. "What are you doing here?"
That was the first time, Aman realized that she was not expecting to meet him here either. But then, why would she? They were in the most expensive five star hotel in the city and both were here....
Looking at you.
It took all of Aman's will power to understand what she was saying and three more seconds to articulate himself.
"There is a meeting here." Aman said finally. "And I came to attend it."
"The Unitec Deal – you are the other party?" Karunya demanded looking incredulous.
"I am buying their company. I need three of the technologies that the company has developed for a flat screen panel. And their devices are more efficient in some respects." Aman said a little angrily. A part of him did wonder why he was explaining all this to her.
"You are the owner of AK Technologies?" She asked faintly.
"Yes." Aman said irritably. The meeting was to start in ten minutes and he was here.
"Fine," Karunya nodded. "I will sell the company. Talk over the details of the takeover with my people. I will ask them to help you so that the takeover is smooth."
"You are the owner of Unitec?"
It took embarrassing ten seconds for Aman to actually make sense of Karunya's sentence.
"I am technically the owner." She sighed. "After dad's death, I have been trying to settle his assets. Unitec is his company."
"And you would just sell it to me?" Aman demanded wondering what he had misread in this sentence.
"I am a hotelier, Aman." Karunya said looking weirdly at him. "I can definitely not manage my father's electronic company well. I am not even equipped for it. You evidently know what you are doing. So I think it is right for the takeover."
"Hotel.?" Somehow that was the only part of Karunya's sentence which Aman did remember.
"Yeah!" Karunya gave him a small smile. "You are standing in it."
Aman blinked again. He looked again and saw the lavish surroundings and realized a little slowly that now that he thought about it, everything in the place had her touch – a richness with a cosy home feel – the decor mixed the old and the new and it was beautiful making almost anyone at home there...
"Ma'am" a man in a formal suit came up from behind nodding at Karunya. "We need to..." The man looked at Aman. "Hello Mr. Aman Chetan."
Aman nodded at the man.
"Look at your new boss, Ravi." Karunya said nodding at the man.
Ravi looked surprised at Karunya and then at Aman. "You decided to..."
"Yes." Karunya nodded as they entered the room. Karunya looked at Aman. "I am hopeful that the takeover would be smooth both for my people and you."
Ravi looked shocked and he really could not articulate himself as he walked ahead.
"This calls for a celebration."
She had looked remarkably cool during the entire meeting. She had even convinced her board members on why the takeover was for the best. Most of the Board Members had agreed and the agreement had even been signed.
She had done more than half of his work for him. Aman was actually expecting someone hardboiled idiot who would refuse to part with the company.
He had done his homework. He knew about the company. But Aman just did not understand who was the daughter who was looking for a buyer of her father's company. Somehow, that simple fact he had missed.
They were now alone in the bar at the hotel and the dimly lighted surroundings with the gloved waiters was making the place look posh... almost beautiful.
She poured his drinks and handed it to him.
"Why did you leave?"
Aman was mortified. Horribly. He had come here for negotiating a deal and all through he could not even concentrate on it. Not one bit. Suddenly it did not even matter to him that the takeover had been so smooth. Something else was burning in his head. But he honestly did not expect that he would ask the question.
Her dark eyes studied him slowly. For some strange reason Aman felt uncovered. - like she was seeing through him.
"We had something." Aman said softly. Not that he had started. He did not know how to stop. "It could have been something. Something special. And you just walked away telling me it was over." Aman shook his head. "You did not give me any answers. Nothing." Aman studied her eyes again which were still expressionless. "You walked away. Why?"
"I saw no future for us." She said slowly. "There was nothing for me to think in that."
Every word was a blow and he was shocked. Numb.
"And I meant what I said then. We cannot keep each other happy." Karunya looked at Aman with a smile. "I let you have my father's company, because I knew you cared about it. You wanted to have the company for a specific reason. And I knew that you would develop it and make good use of it. That is what you are. Ambitious and I would not be wrong in saying that you can be very cutthroat when needed."
"That does not..." Aman started.
"You are ambitious. And I want to build my hotel. My hotel is already on its way up. And I am going to make it the best. You should have known it long ago that neither of us have the time to invest in other people in general. Our ambitions would not let us do anything else.. And besides, what do you want me do?" Karunya asked.
She did not wait for his answer as she continued. "Marry you and try to keep up with you while you were running your company?" She shook her head. "That is not me, either."
Karunya looked at Aman slowly. "You pick a woman who will love you and your ambitions. Not a woman like me. I need to do something myself. Not for someone else."
Karunya nodded slowly. "I stand by what I say. We cannot keep each other happy."