Herd told IANS here: We always had India on the radar but we thought it might be a long time from now. When Priyanka and I were sitting next to each other at a dinner, we were sharing our missions and visions about the planet, and what we care about. Let's take it there. Apart from being a date-finding platform, it also facilitates friendships with its "BFF mode" and business networking via Bumble Bizz. For the Indian market, language and cultural localisation has been done. Available in Hindi and 'Hinglish' on iOS and Android, Bumble has incorporated a religion filter, apart from letting users mention astrological signs, whether the person drinks or smokes, has pets or not, and the option for women to only mention the initial of their first names -- giving them the choice to disclose only what they want.
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Natasha doubted he would have any thoughts of her being a damsel in distress if he knew half of the things she could do. Just from their position, on the table they sat at, there were no less than half a dozen items she could use to kill him. Not that she was bragging. And you said you weren't smooth. He didn't know a thing about her. As he placed it on the table, Natasha was met with the most intense stare she had ever received from anyone.
And she had stared down the gun barrels of some of the most ruthless villains on the planet, so that was saying something. He was staring directly at her. Not at her face, her eyes, or as most men did, her breasts. After a moment under his gaze, it felt as if he could see what she really was, like those bright green eyes were lances, piercing right into her soul, and Natasha was unsure if he would like what he saw. After all, there were plenty of times where she even couldn't bear to stare at herself in the mirror. You know they're happy, but can't really comprehend why.
The concept is foreign to you. And you envy them that.
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Stop me if I'm completely off base. She resisted the urge to gulp. On the outside her face was stone, as hard and cold as a statue of glacial ice. She had never been the type to wear her emotions on her sleeve. They had trained that out of her. Facades of emotion could be used as strength. But true emotions…they got people hurt or killed. Emotions were a weakness.
And Natasha was anything but weak. That did not mean he did not intrigue her. Because he was right. He saw directly through her, even if she wouldn't admit it out loud. A part of her was frightened. It had been a long time since someone had known what lived behind her eyes, an even longer time since anyone could relate. And even if he hadn't said so, Natasha had a feeling he could empathize with her on some level.
Her whole life had revolved around spy craft. While other little girls were pretending to be princesses, Natasha was being taught various parts of human anatomy; the ideal places to strike, stab, or shoot to put a target down and make sure they never got back up. Good looking men like him didn't want damaged women. They weren't worth the time or trouble.
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They could have their pick of the litter, no need to spend time fixing the broken ones when there were plenty of pretty women who were already ready to go. Especially not on their first meeting, most people would have excused themselves and never looked back. But he was still there, drowning her in his understanding. The grass could always be greener.
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He had hypnotized her, drawn her in with his fortune cookie wisdom. There was no denying he found her attractive, the signs were obvious. But, it wasn't his intent to seduce her. He genuinely just wanted to help, to 'save her'. She almost scoffed at the thought. A real White Knight in their day and age. A valiant hero who fought for the sake of idealism. It was preposterous, but nonetheless real, as he was right in front of her.
She wanted to smack herself for sounding like a crushing teenager, but Natasha couldn't help it. If you can't find pleasure in one aspect of your life, then find it in another. You hate your job, find a hobby. Needless to say, somethings are much easier to say than do, but ultimately, we are the ones in control. It wasn't a competition.
There was no score card, no prize at the end. But Natasha knew she was losing. Losing what, she wasn't sure. Maybe, losing the battle with herself to brush the stranger away. He wouldn't be around.
Whatever their current situation was, he wouldn't be around long. And it disappointed her to a degree that she couldn't fathom. He was no one to her. It should have been nothing for Natasha to get up and walk away. But she found herself not wanting to. You come here just as much as I do. But she didn't take the bait, content with waiting for an answer. A part of her wished she could catch him in a lie. Walking away would be so much easier if he were a fake.
Especially if he turned out to be a good fake. The smile that crossed his face was not fake, to her surprise. He did look back those times and was able to brush them off. Not for one moment did Natasha discount his tragedies.
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Until she knew more, Natasha wouldn't discredit anything. After all, she outwardly appeared normal, but that didn't mean her mental scars were anything to laugh at. And even I can't take full credit for that.
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For a long time I felt sorry for myself. It wasn't until my eyes were opened to how bad life could really get that I just stopped. I stopped pitying myself and moved on.