Chapter 23: The Evening Tour
After being knocked out completely for the first day under the extreme effect of their jetlag, Ranveer and Ishaani now sat together in the living room of their suite, happily sipping over their cups of coffee and their heads bents over a piece of paper.
"According to what my agent suggested, these are the best things out here that we can do."
"Pass me that pen over, please." Ranveer passed the pen over to her while Ishaani turned the paper towards herself now, reading off the list.
"Vegas Indoor Skydiving - check." Ticking the first activity with pleasurable interest, she continued.
"Titanic Artifacts Exhibition - check again. I've always been interested in the history of the Titanic." She smiled happily and turned to look at Ranveer. "Is it okay with you?"
"Totally." Ishaani gave an approving nod and continued.
"Adventuredome Theme Park - Hmmm... let's leave this for tentative now. What do you think?"
"I think if we manage to get most of our schedule done and get a whole day free, we can pretty much manage it."
"Okay. So let's keep this as 50-50 right now. Next, we have the Aquarium. This is a big check on my part."
"Same goes for me. I've always wanted to see an Aquarium!" Ishaani and Ranveer shared gleeful looks and Ishaani eagerly looked at the list once again.
"Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts - Naah. Won't that be again repetitive? I mean, we are already going to the Titanic Exhibition was well."
"I want to go there as well. I've heard that there are some really brilliant masterpieces over there."
"Hmmm. Okay, we'll keep this on hold as well right now. We'll get back to this again."
"Alright. But I'm still saying that I'm kinda interested in it." Ishaani gave him an acknowledging glance before turning her attention to the paper once again.
"Circus Acts - This sounds like fun. Oh no, but wait. We can't go for this. You're scared of clowns."
"We can go for it. I don't feel afraid of them anymore."
"Huh? How did that happen? All our childhood, I've tried to get you to see a circus show and see clowns and not be afraid of them, but you wouldn't budge. How on Earth did the impossible happen?" Ranveer laughed at her surprise and spoke.
"Last year, I was at a fair. I didn't really have an idea where I was going and what I was doing. By mistake, I ended up sitting through a circus show without being aware about it. It was only at the end, when the show got over, I realized that I'd sat through it without even flinching. And I don't know why, but once the show was done, I went on stage and shook the clown's hand. That was the most idiotic thing I could have done, but it still felt good. I was pretty happy when I left that show before my head went all fuzzy."
"Now wait a minute. You did that on impulse one year back. How come you weren't aware of- ohhh!" Ishaani's look of indignation suddenly changed into one of guilty understanding.
"I'm glad that you caught on to it. Never mind, as I was saying. I was roaming about the fair, I had an illusion that I saw you. Ofcourse by the time I could reach there, I realized that it was someone else altogether." Ishaani looked puzzled.
"Which fair was this?"
"The Mardi Gras one." Ishaani looked at him nervously now.
"I did attend that fair last year." Ishaani could make out a triumphant look emerging on Ranveer's face before he asked her, his voice shaking with controlled glee.
An awkward atmosphere overtook the air as Ishaani could hear Martin's words in her mind, describing the state of mind with which Ranveer had come home. Ranveer, on the other hand, was lost in another realm, triumphant that what he had seen was true and not an illusion. Snapping out of his thoughts, he saw Ishaani have a troubled expression on her face.
"Nothing." Ishaani tried to cover her look way too fast and Ranveer groaned.
"Martin told you about what happened next, didn't he?" Ishaani gave him a guilty look that was answer enough for Ranveer. Pulling back the paper and pen from Ishaani's hand, he continued hurriedly.
"Alright, now that we have this clarified, that's one less thing to worry about. Moving on, we have the Hot Air Balloon Rides." Knowing that Ranveer wanted to skim through the topic, she quickly turned her attention towards the list.
"Cool! This is a big check for me."
"This is a big check for me as well." Ranveer's eyes suddenly brightened up and Ishaani noticed the glitter in them, but didn't say anything. Instead she tried to peek over the list in Ranveer's hand.
"Calm down! There's just one last thing remaining. That's the Vegas Evening Tour."
"Big check as well for this one."
"Good. We have our list sorted out then. Phew! That got done faster than I expected."
"Oh yeah. But I must say, Vegas makes for a very good change afterall the tiresome work back home." Ranveer smiled at the use of 'home' while Ishaani gave him a content look.
"See, I told you that Vegas would be a brilliant idea!" Ishaani smiled at Ranveer affectionately.
"Vegas was always your dream now, wasn't it?" Ranveer gave Ishaani a knowing look and smiled.
"Pretty much, yeah."
"So tell me, what does birthday boy want to do today?"
"Interesting question." Pulling Ishaani into his arms, he continued. "Given that we've just recovered from our jetlag, let's stick to simple today. How about we go in for the Evening Tour and the Indoor Skydiving later on? I've heard that the lights and ambience make the Indoor Skydiving pretty fun at night. Besides, the weather seems really pleasant today. So we won't be getting chilly as well."
"Sounds like fun to me."
Ranveer and Ishaani sat over the upper deck of the double decker bus, letting the cool evening breeze hit their faces pleasantly while looking around with interest. The tour guide kept giving them the key points over every place they visited while the bus stopped for a couple of minutes and all the people aboard were allowed to remove pictures.
They were taken around on the tour to several famous hotels like the Bellagio, Mirage and the Palazzo, following the tour of various museums around. Ranveer and Ishaani made sure to remove several pictures of theirs in front of the Bellagio fountain that made for a wonderful water effect, along with watching the whole water show with the fountain sprouting water in different themes and patterns. They were then driven across different avenues and squares, buzzing with the night life of Vegas while they were later on shown around the Fremont Street Experience for a one hour gap.
Ranveer and Ishaani walked about the whole of Fremont Street arguing over what they were going to eat before the colorful and vivid animation of the place caught their attention and they went back to removing photos of themselves and then of each other, along with admiring the effects of night life that the street offered. From doing crazy antics with rainbow speakers to going jumping over the bungee net, Ranveer and Ishaani spent that hour with cones of ice-creams and candy floss sticks, along with a packet full of candy that they bought as souvenir from the candy shop.
The last stop on the Evening Tour was an external view of the Indoor Skydiving in the night lights. Ranveer and Ishaani both left the bus and bid all the other tourists goodbye and headed towards the venue where it was happening. Ranveer quickly went to the keeper and asked him the details about the activity before he returned back with two ticket in his hands.
Ranveer and Ishaani were back in the living room of their suite, massaging their shoulders and neck. As much as the indoor skydiving was pleasurable with its continuous ups and downs against the strong wind tunnel walls, the strain on their necks, hands and shoulders was evident. Ishaani felt her throat go sore in all the screaming with palpable excitement while Ranveer's eyes still watered a bit despite the protective wear. Dinner was a grand affair as they dined at the hotel nearby, once their skydiving was done with. Both of them nibbled on jelly candies throughout their way back home in the cab.
"Oh my, that was actually fun! Maybe on our next trip, we can actually go parachuting or actual skydiving!"
"Our next trip? I didn't know that you liked this trip this much. For all I knew, you just came along to keep my heart."
Ishaani threw a pillow at him with mock disapproval. Ranveer narrowed his eyes at her before he threw back the pillow at her. Ishaani threw the pillow back at him blindly before she ran from the living room and rushed to her room, Ranveer hot on her heels. Ishaani quickly picked up the pillows from her bed and threw them at him again while Ranveer dodged both the attacks and threw the same pillows back at her.
Ishaani jumped up on the bed and armed herself with two more pillow before she forcefully threw one at Ranveer and kept the other pillow as a weapon in hand in case Ranveer came to attack her.
Ranveer quickly bent and picked up the pillow that caught him square in the face and threw it back at Ishaani, missing her by inches. All the pillows astray, Ishaani stuck her tongue out at him and ran from the room, Ranveer barely able to catch hold of her. Running into his room, she quickly threw three pillows at him in rapid succession, Ranveer dodging two and catching hold of the third one. Throwing that pillow with proper force and aim, the pillow caught Ishaani straight in the back and she tumbled.
Seeing Ranveer catch up with her, she quickly climbed on the bed and tried to find to escape, but Ishaani knew that she was cornered. Ranveer circled around the bed wickedly while Ishaani kept eyeing her one last pillow in hand. Ranveer smirked at her before pouncing over the bed and tried to snatch the pillow, but in vain. Ishaani's hold on the pillow was just as strong and both of them entered into a tug of war over the last pillow, all their sore muscles forgotten in light of their new battle.
Ranveer and Ishaani both put their entire strength in yanking the pillow from each other's hand before the pillow tore, its feathers shooting up in the air and both lost their balance, falling on top of one another. Ranveer groaned in pain as Ishaani fell fully over him, the feathers falling all over them in slow descend. Ishaani and Ranveer both looked at the mess around them and burst out into peals of laughter, the feathers falling over them lazily.
Ranveer smiled at her as he slowly pulled out a feather from Ishaani's hair while Ishaani's laughter died down, a hard look now etched across her features. The tension of the moment was heavy over them, as the build up towards it had reached a new found peak. Ishaani gave Ranveer a hard stare while Ranveer gave her a passionate one. Ishaani's lips quivered as she stared at him, unsure of what was going to happen.
Ranveer let his arms crawl up her waist and he pulled her closer to him, so that they were barely apart from each other now. Giving Ishaani a hypnotizing look, he slowly kissed the button of her nose while she shut her eyes at the contact of his lips over her skin. Ranveer slowly pushed his lips towards her cheek, letting it remain for a couple of moments more, increasing the heat of the moment. Ishaani felt shivers run down her spine and a tingling excitement build-up within her, something she always felt when she was in such close proximity of Ranveer.
Ranveer looked at her and gave her a loving smile before he pulled her into a hug, her head over his chest. Ishaani felt herself relax in his arms as she could sense the tension of the moment fading away, replacing it with a serene calm in her mind.
"I hope you didn't mind."
"We still have eight days. I'm pretty sure we can accommodate our little escapade somewhere much more memorable." Ishaani let herself slip from over Ranveer and fell gracefully to her side while staring at Ranveer, a desire lurking in her eyes. "Goodnight Mr. Vaghela. And thank you for making this day so memorable."
"Always, Mrs. Vaghela."
Ishaani got to her feet clumsily, the pain in her muscles returning once again while she stared at Ranveer mesmerizingly. He gave her an intense look before she blushed under his gaze and left the room, a broad smile on her face.
As she rearranged the pillows in her room, she unconsciously touched her cheek where Ranveer had kissed her, before a broad smile crossed her lips. Climbing up the bed lazily, she shut off the lamps of the room, promising herself.
"I'm going to make sure to give you the best
birthday of your life."