*Due to the massive confusion over access, we have decided to release the outtakes into the wild. The Lounge will remain a special space for our Epilogue series and Special.*
This one’s for Priya – Wishing you a very Happy Birthday!
K & I hope it was an occasion filled with the joy of family and the gifts of friends.
And here’s a little extra time spent with Ponytailed Parrot & the Audacious Flirt!
*Prior to poolside scene*
NK: Khushi has left the building
Aman: You work fast.
NK: That’s why I’m your brother’s right hand man.
Aman: If I didn’t know for a fact you two bang women, I would seriously question your relationship.
NK: Crudely put, but point made.
Aman: What now?
NK: Robbie mentioned she packed a bag… swimwear included.
Aman: Goddammit! Am I the only one who is going without?
NK: Didn’t the traditional saree clue you in? It’s as loud as a schoolgirl’s uniform.
Aman: I’ll bet they put out.
NK: The friend in me is inclined to inform you that I save all our texts. The avenging blackmailer is fucking gleeful.
Aman: It’s not like Anjali doesn’t know what she’s signing up for.
NK: Women are strange, mate. No telling what shit will give them a wild hair. Considering your prior occupation as a man whore, I’m surprised you don’t know that by now.
Aman: That Victoria’s Secret model’s number you been wanting – should I text it over?
Aman: Like that is it?
NK: What else you got? Otherwise, Anjali is going to have some interesting reading on her wedding night.
Aman: Take that back! Any longer and I’ll be a candidate for Canonization.
NK: Tick. Tock.
Aman: Fucker. Fine. You can have the Mets opening game tickets.
NK: Good man.
5 minutes later
Aman: You coming?
NK: On my way.
Aman: Right. Just got off the phone with Hale. We’re good… You think she’s the bikini type?
“Good morning, Mr. Raizada, Mr. Ryan.” Evan Hale greeted the duo as soon as they stepped into the lobby. As AR Hotel’s head manager he had been privy to many events involving the Raizada brothers, but this weekend was proving more interesting than most.
“Evan, good to see you. Thank you for rearranging your schedule to accommodate us.”
“No trouble, Mr. Raizada.”
“Aman, please. Save Mr. Raizada for my brother.” Aman replied with a wide grin.
“Of course. Do you require anything, or shall we proceed straight to security?”
“Just have the kitchen send up two breakfast specials.”
“Excellent. Right this way, gentlemen.”
He turned and led them down several corridors, finally stopping before a steel entrance. With a few quick strokes and the press of his thumb over the blinking keypad, the door slid open.
Entering the windowless space, they were greeted by five dozen CCTV monitors covering different angles of the lobby, the kitchens, the restaurants, the shops, and every major hallway. The screens filled up two entire walls, each with a recorder directly beneath. The main console was a colorful board of buttons and knobs, including a direct line to the NYPD, to whom they paid a mint to keep on call for emergencies.
The entire surveillance system was virtually integrated, automatically sending out daily status reports to management and a summarized weekly report directly to Arnav’s cellphone.
Aman studied the screens until he located the four covering the aerie.
“Can we get sound?”
The security guard flipped a switch and the muffled din of lapping water came through.
“Excellent, how long do we keep the feeds?” he asked the guard.
“Usually two weeks sir, after which if there are no incidents, they’re erased.”
“Good, I want you to turn off the recording of the pool area while we’re here.”
“But, sir!” Evan looked horrified. “Mr. Raizada has made it very clear….”
“Yes, well this Mr. Raizada will take full responsibility. And I don’t want it mentioned. To anyone. Are we clear?”
“Good, now go take an early lunch break.”
“But… ” Evan’s skin was now tinged with a pale green.
“Don’t worry, I know what to do if anything comes up,” NK assured him.
Aman plopped himself down on a chair after NK literally forced the guards and their distressed manager out of the room.
He grinned at NK, “The things we do for family.”
“I consider this overtime and will bill your brother accordingly.”
“Fuck! Is it wrong that I’m turned on?”
“Fuck me, all I see is red. Wet… red…..”
“Lucky bastard. Damn, I suddenly have a taste for cherry.”
“Do you think it’s bad for the body to take so many cold showers?”
“There are actually quite a few benefits.”
“Besides the obvious, what benefits?”
“It increases alertness, improves immunity, stimulates weight loss, eases stress, and speeds up muscle recovery.”
“Yep, and while we’re on the topic…”
“Go on Dr. Ryan.”
“Well, turns out there’s no actual science to back up the idea that a cold shower will cool down your libido.”
“You’re shitting me.”
“Nope. In fact it’s known to vastly increase testosterone production”
“Can’t just believe what you see on screen.”
“What the hell do I use now?”
“Might want to look into chaste tree berry.”
“Also known as ‘monk’s pepper’, it’s like a supplement. Used since the Middle Ages and has proven over time to be effective in combating a high sex drive.”
“How the hell do you know this shit?”
“Never know what life will throw at you, my pa believed a man needs to be prepared.”
“He always thought so.”
“Just carried her to the men’s bath.”
“I’m demanding a raise Monday morning. Need to invest in fucking chaste tree berry.”
“If Arnav ever finds out what we did, you’ll be eating it with testicle soup.”
“Aren’t you just the bearer of glad tidings.”
“Just covering our bases.”
“Hell… you’ll at least get me canonized won’t you?”
“You can bet your trust fund on it, mate.”