It feels like it’s been a while since I went on a road trip, so this was incredibly fun. Nothing on the mind, but being on the road, noting random things, lush green scenery and that family of zebras, having their lunch.
What do they do with all these?
They make a picture
Nakuru was rainy when we got there, so our contact sent us a tuk tuk man. I now believe everyone should have Mr. Ngugi when you first hit Nakuru. He got us around town and answered a billion questions with patience.
We had a stress free transport time thanks to him.
The trip was a fun day out, but it was also for a conference, organized by Topserve Baking Accessories and supplies, who have relaunched their shop in Nakuru. The Conference was held at Hotel Waterbuck, Nakuru. While the event continued, it was hard to ignore these gems on the walls of this hotel. So much art, there is no chance you will be bored checking in to this hotel.
Nakuru is about 3hrs away from Nairobi. Very quiet, very laid back, and definitely a lot of fun to be had. New Goals after this trip –> Not to take everything too seriously, gotta take time to have fun.
Track 16 – Did you know there are a million sides to you…?
Later in the day, Danny stood in the pet supplies aisle at the supermarket, staring at the
range of cat litter products. How was he supposed to know which one was the right one? How strange was it to put a litter box in the house? The cat his mother kept had known to go pee outside. Why didn’t Jasmine’s cat know?
“Well, well,” Nic Mugera said, making Danny glance up from his perusal. Nic stood a few feet away, his right brow raised in amusement.
“What are you doing here?” Danny asked with a scowl.
“Seeing it for myself,” Nic replied. “Try the scented. Women like things that smell nice.”
“How would you know?” Danny asked.
“I have three sisters,” Nic answered. “I never imagined a woman would tame you into shopping.”
“Speak your mind, then leave Nic,” Danny said, irritated.
Nic sighed. “You are no fun. Fine. Anderson tried to hit up my warehouse in Industrial Area last night. Security stopped it. You should watch out.”
“What was he after?”
“A new consignment of parts,” Nic said. “You know I don’t get cheap stuff. Losing my stock would have set me back on my profits. Now that we have decided to exclude Anderson, he will try to hurt us.”
“I know,” Danny nodded. “Our best bet is to gather as much evidence as we can. Use it against him.”
“The CCTV feed at the warehouse is a good start,” Nic said. “We need more than that though. I suggest you tighten your security. He’ll hit you where it hurts most.”
“Are you having me followed?” Danny asked, wondering how Nic had known he would be here.
“Danny,” Nic said, his tone teasing. “The same way you’re aware of my movements, I’m aware of yours too. She’s hot by the way. Hang on to her, or I’ll make a move.”
“Don’t even think it,” Danny growled as Nick chucked and raised his hands up in surrender. Nic turned to leave, and Danny said, “Thanks.”
“Yeah, see you around, Danny boy,” Nic said with a wave.
Danny grabbed a bag of scented kitten litter and went in search of Jasmine. He found her reading a gossip magazine in the book section. She almost jumped when he placed the kitten litter in the cart.
Placing the magazine back, she turned on him.
“Where have you been?”
“Getting the litter,” Danny said. “Do you want the magazine?”
“No,” Jasmine said. “Let’s go.”
“You were reading it though.”
“Are you hungry?” Jasmine asked, walking away.
Puzzled, Danny followed her to check out. She was busy putting items on the counter when he reached her.
“Why did you take a day off today?”
“I wanted to spend the day with you. Why did you leave a magazine you were reading? Don’t you want to finish it?” Danny asked, lifting laundry detergent and placing it on the counter.
“I don’t want to buy it,” Jasmine said.
“Does that mean if I buy it, you’ll want it?”
“No,” Jasmine said. “Why are we having this conversation?”
“Because it’s fascinating how you start something and walk away from it, without a second glance,” Danny said.
“You’re reading too much into it,” Jasmine said, reaching for her purse.
Jasmine shook her head and turned to the cashier. When she finished with her, and her shopping was all packed up, Jasmine followed Danny out of the supermarket.
“You’re so defensive,” Danny complained, once they were inside the car. When she raised a brow at him, he grinned. “I’m getting used to it.”
“You’re not easy to deal with either,” Jasmine said with a snort.
“You must like me though,” Danny said, navigating traffic.
“I must,” Jasmine said on a smile. “Tell me about racing instead.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Is it illegal?” Jasmine asked, shifting in her seat so that she faced him.
“It depends on the perspective,” Danny answered. “The modifications on the cars are illegal for regular use, things like using NOS—
“Nitrous Oxide Systems,” Danny frowned. “They’re used to increase speed. Say for example you want to increase speed to 65mph in four seconds. You install NOS in to the system, but it has to be able to handle it. Their use is regulated because you can’t strap them into a regular passenger car, or public vehicles.”
“Do you have NOS in your race cars?”
“Yes,” Danny said, he wouldn’t lie to her. It was easiest if she knew every detail.
Jasmine nodded. “Go on.”
“There are many types of modifications. We’d need a separate lesson just for that. We race in the evening most times, in the racing course we developed. Though, there are times when we do close down streets and run a street racing round.”
“So, if police caught you—
“Yes, that part of it is illegal. We all work around it,” Danny gave a small smile.
“Can you use my car?” Jasmine asked. “Can I take my Chevy out there?’
“Your Chevy is too old,” Danny said. “Each car in any particular race has an engine that is built from scratch, tuned and maintained to perfection. So, we would have to change everything in your Chevy’s engine, change the type of tires, suspension, modify the chassis, that way, the car would have a fighting chance in a race.”
“What do you drive?”
“A Nissan Skyline,” Danny said, his voice filled with pride. “Jimmy and I modify and tune it with each race. It’s earned us a lot of money.”
“It must be really expensive doing all that,” Jasmine noted.
“The garage pulls in money, Jazz. We never make any serious financial risks,” Danny assured her. “Besides fixing cars, we also modify and tune other racer cars. We rent out some of the street racing cars we have. Income comes from selling parts in the shop. We keep a low profile, and make sure our tax payments are paid on time. Don’t want the KRA calling.”
“Does it scare you at all?” Jasmine asked. “Ever?”
“Only when my head is not in the game,” Danny confessed. “Driving takes skill, Jasmine. A car is a machine that requires a clear calculating mind behind the wheel. I’m not an idiot.”
Jasmine studied him for a moment. No, he wasn’t an idiot. Far from it. Still, she was scared to think of him at the wheel of a car flying at sixty mph in four seconds. How could he catch his breath under such speed?
Clearing her throat, she asked. “Will you take me on a ride one of these days? I mean not at your races. I couldn’t handle that, but—
She paused when he looked at her, surprise clear on his face.
“When you’re free,” she finished.
Danny smiled wide. “How about now?”
“Really?” Jasmine shook her head, not sure she was ready for this.
“Sure,” Danny said, before she chickened out.
Changing gears, he changed lanes and headed toward the exit that would take him to the racing course.
Thirty minutes later, Danny pressed on the gas pedal, steadily increasing speed and grinned when the hand on his thigh squeezed tighter, then relaxed. They had gone three rounds around the course. Each time, he’d taken them on a faster speed. Jasmine sat silent beside him, her expression one of excitement.
He didn’t talk, just allowed the atmosphere to fill with the sound of the engine, and his woman beside him.
It felt safe, Jasmine thought, her gaze on Danny’s hands as he turned the wheel. The movement so effortless, she wasn’t apprehensive and anxious. It was him. He made her feel safe, happy.
She started to say she loved him, then stopped, surprised that the words had almost escaped. She shut her mouth and turned to look out the window. The world was moving fast around them. Like her emotions, she warned herself.
“You what?” Danny prompted, placing his hand over hers on his thigh.
Jasmine smiled. “I’m glad we did this. It’s exciting.”
“Are you still scared?” Danny asked, easily navigating the car into a fast turn. Jasmine watched the motion, feeling weightless.
“No. Not when I’m with you,” Jasmine said, turning to study his face. He looked so happy, the expression on his face was memorable. She’d definitely never seen this side of Danny before. He was excited, relaxed, and content.
“You make it effortless,” she said.
“Isn’t it?” Danny teased. “You must come to all my races now.”
Jasmine breathed in and squeezed his thigh. She might trust him behind the wheel, but others—
That was another case.
Could she live through that kind of anxiety? Guess she would find out tonight, she thought.
A gripping tale of intrigue and war in precolonial Africa. Two young people — Kalinda, a page in the court of the King of Buganda; and Nagawa, one of the king’s beautiful young wives — are swept up in conflict as missionaries, rival tribes and soldiers of fortune vie for power in what is now Uganda.
It is a time of upheaval in Buganda, an African kingdom on the verge of losing its independence. Anglican and Catholic missionaries are rapidly converting people to Christianity, in the process stirring conflict with their kinsmen who have embraced Islam. Three main characters – Nagawa, a young but unhappy bride to the king; Kalinda, a servant in the royal courts; and Reverend Clement, a Scottish missionary, are swept up in forces that will change their lives and reshape the future of their nation.
Just got a message in my inbox about this book. Unhappy Bride to a king, A servant in the Royal Courts, and Conflict in the village….yeah, sign me up. Looking forward to jumping into this gem in the coming days. Meanwhile, get your own copy here:
I’m guilty of falling into a dark repetitive cycle when what I expected doesn’t happen, or changes into what I didn’t want. #ElectionsKe is a great example of jumping into this dark repetitive cycle that leaves you spinning on the same spot. Questions like, ‘Why is this happening?’ ‘Can’t they just stop or agree?’ ‘Oh my god, there is this side, and that side. That side is definitely out to get this side‘, fill the mind. The blaming, the shaming, the hating, the pointing fingers…this is just a small part of the dark repetitive cycle, earlier mentioned.
You have to make a conscious effort to pull yourself out of there. To remember the important things, despite the turmoil bred by politics.
Your Life’s Goals – Focus on that instead of negativity. Allowing yourself to be sucked into the dark cycle will only derail your life’s goals. This isn’t easy, especially for those of us in business. Every day Kenya continues in a state of anxiety, the harder it is to buy and sell, manufacture and deliver. Costs run up, so we’re forced to think of new ways to achieve our goals. It’s a challenging experience, but one that’s way more important than jumping into the dark cycle.
Kenya is not one person, it is all of us. Be kind to your neighbor as you have always been before, are now, and should be in the future. We can only grow together.
Let the Giants fight it out. The rest of us, keep living, building, growing what matters to us, in our lives. The giants won’t pay for your rent, give you money for your house, and family. They won’t know what you’re eating for dinner, or breakfast. You can only do one thing, vote, the rest, leave it to our more than capable Justice branch.
Meanwhile, raptly waiting to do what I can, which is vote as needed, then see new trends, like #githeriman #Chilobae on my nearest screen, and smile in amusement at the Creativity in this country. Gotta love it! While doing my own thing, through it all, because that’s what matters to me and my family.
This is a Blog Hop Post! For a writing group called Literati. The best bunch of people I’ve gotten to know. Totally inspiring you and making you aspire to do better too…
Track 15 – Because getting to know you, is my favorite adventure…
The door was open, and Jasmine sat on her bed writing in her diary. She didn’t look up, so Danny leaned on the doorjamb and watched her for a few minutes.
The reading glasses resting on the bridge of her nose made her look studious, and sexy…Danny grinned. He leaned the hockey stick on the wall inside her bedroom and cleared his throat.
She looked up at him.
“Still mad at me?” he asked.
Jasmine closed her diary and placed it on the bedside table.
“I need to know you’re safe when you’re alone,” Danny explained.
“I know,” Jasmine said, removing her glasses, she held out her right hand to him.
Danny entered the bedroom and closed the door. He moved closer and took her hand. Getting on the bed, he pulled her into a tight hug. Not wanting to let go just yet, Danny shifted until he was comfortably resting on the comfortable pillows. Jasmine settled against him, and he rubbed her arm, breathing in the scent of mint. The scent like home.
Jasmine traced shapes on his t-shirt.
“Will you tell me what tonight’s been about?”
Danny held her tighter.
“First, let me ask, do you trust me?”
Jasmine’s finger stilled on his chest. She lifted her head from his chest to meet his gaze. Danny searched her eyes for a hint of doubt, and when he found none, he couldn’t help the little burst of joy in his heart.
“I’m not a criminal,” Danny said then, needing her to know that. “The garage’s revenue is clean, no dirty money.”
“And the race grounds?” Jasmine asked.
“Jimmy and I bought the land and own it free and clear. We built the course, developed the tracks. We’ve ran a tight circle until a few months ago when Adrian approached us wanting to join in.” Danny shook his head. “At first glance, his business looked legitimate. He imports car parts and has a shop in the middle of Nairobi town.”
“He has other sources of income,” Jasmine said, resting her chin on Danny’s chest.
“We allowed him into the circle because he could pay the cut,” Danny sighed. “It worked out well a few races. Then Anderson’s people started working the guests. Trying to sell merchandise, Jimmy thinks there were drugs involved. It got weird, and we started not calling him for any races.”
“Now he’s upset,” Jasmine said in understanding. “Upsetting Adrian is like stepping on a cat’s tail, Danny. He’s a mean bastard, his claws scratch deep.”
“I made Terry finish her business with anyone associated with Anderson. Jimmy has people watching her. I stayed away from you thinking I was protecting you. Then Terry came home and told me you used to date his little brother—,”
“Hence the ex-boyfriend conversation,” Jasmine sighed. “Danny, I doubt Anderson will come after me.”
“He will because you matter to me,” Danny said, tightening his hold on her. She frowned, and he brought his free hand to pinch her left cheek, and then gave it a small caress.
“It would hurt me if something happened to you, Jazz. That’s no secret,” Danny said.
Well…when he put it that way, Jasmine thought, sucking in air. Danny certainly knew how to say the right thing to make all her mad disappear. Wiping out a full evening of being upset with a few words, what talent. Her heart squeezed and she gave up on fighting her feelings for this man.
She smiled and Danny stared at her, then ran his hands down her back, tickling her. She started laughing and tried to wiggle out of his hold.
“Were you really going to hit me with the hockey stick?”
Jasmine grabbed his wrists to stop him, but he was strong. He tickled her sides and she convulsed into uncontrollable laughs.
“Tell me, or I won’t stop,” Danny threatened.
“I thought you were a thief.” Jasmine tried to move away, but then Danny rolled on top of her. “You’ve been freaking out about psychos at my door. Then I hear banging—,”
“Next time, call for help,” Danny said.
“My phone was in the living room,” Jasmine said.
“You’re exasperating,” Danny chuckled. “I think I need to stay here with you.”
“What?” Jasmine stared at him in surprise. Then he kissed her hard and she forgot all thought.
She wasn’t working the next morning. Danny finally got his wish. He woke her with heated kisses, bringing her up as the sun rose to a beautiful Friday morning. Jasmine curled to his side and pressed a kiss on his shoulder.
“Morning,” Danny said.
“Morning,” she smiled. “If they were all like this, I’d never get to work.”
“Hmm…” Danny said, his tone low. “Is that an idea?”
“Maybe,” Jasmine said.
They spent the morning lazing around in bed. At around nine, they dressed leisurely and ended up in the kitchen around nine-thirty. Danny stood behind Jasmine as she made eggs, his hands on her hips. He pressed a kiss on her neck.
“Danny,” She chuckled. “Do you have to stand so close? I’m trying to cook here.”
“I know,” Danny said, kissing her shoulder. “I’m hoping I’m the only one you cook for woman.”
“Such a jealous man,” Jasmine said, turning the eggs. “Pass the plates.”
Danny reached behind him and picked up the plates. Helping her serve the eggs, he took the plates to the dining table while she turned the fire off. Taking their cups of coffee, she followed him to the dining table. Taking a seat beside him, she grabbed her fork and started eating.
“Baby, you’ve got an appetite,” Danny teased.
“So what?” She sipped her coffee. “Am I fat?”
“I love your body,” Danny answered rubbing her back.
Danny chuckled and sipped his coffee.
“What were you busy typing last night?”
Jasmine swallowed her eggs hard, meeting Danny’s gaze. She’d never told her friends about her hobby other than her immediate family.
“Work related?” Danny asked.
“Not really,” Jasmine evaded. “Anyway, what are you doing today?”
“Spending the day with you,” Danny answered, smiling at her shocked reaction.
“The whole day?” she asked.
“Yes, Jasmine. I’m going to spend the whole day with you. Get used to the idea, girlfriend,” Danny said, leaning over to kiss her cheek.
Jasmine shook her head, taking a bite of her eggs.
“I wonder what your racing buddies would say if they saw you now. Your playboy reputation would suffer.”
“It would be worth it,” Danny winked at her. “I’m trying out new things. Speaking of which, later tonight, there is a race. I want you to come.”
“I’m not taking no for an answer,” Danny said. “Please? Come be my luck, Jazz. Let me try to end your fear.”
She stared at her fork. Terry had warned her. Told her she would need to accept this side of Danny too. When she met his gaze, he looked anxious, expecting her to say no.
Jasmine hid a smile and turned away.
“Well, since you asked so nicely,” she said, “I guess I can try it out.”
Track 14 – My past, your present…we just need to understand each other
After Danny left, Jasmine gave up on working. She took a shower, and crawled into her large bed ready for sleep. Yet, her eyes remained wide open. Her thoughts on her relationship with Tyler Anderson.
Tyler had made her smile. Had made her think she could give up on Danny, and maybe live a happy life. Tyler cared, he was easy to be around, and had accepted all her flaws. Since her dream with Danny seemed impossible, she had thought being with Tyler would work.
Jasmine sat up and gave up on sleep. Arranging her pillows behind her back, she reached for her diary on the bedside table. Opening it, she touched the silver chain with a ring hanging on the end. Tyler’s last gift.
The proposal that turned to dust when Anderson rolled into her house and told Tyler he didn’t want trash like Jasmine in their family. Tyler had not defended her. Instead, he’d said sorry and simply walked out of her house.
She kept the ring to remind herself not to be fooled again. Love was easy, but it faded in the face of misconceptions, expectations and perceptions.
Closing her diary, she sighed.
Now there was Danny, insisting he wanted to protect her, cared about her. Yet, he was neck deep in trouble. The races might be clean as far as Danny was concerned, but Adrian was a thug. If he was part of Danny’s life, she didn’t want the reminders of a hurtful love, or the idea that Danny might be involved in crime.
Putting her diary on the bedside table, Jasmine stretched out on her bed, burrowing her face under her pillows. Min jumped up and settled near her head, purring loudly, trying to offer comfort.
Jasmine closed her eyes and might have fallen asleep. When she opened her eyes again, it was to the steady sound of pounding. For a moment, she wondered if her landlord was fixing the fence again. He liked doing shit like that at odd times. She’d learned to ignore it, but this sounded way too close.
Sitting up on her bed, she felt panic fill her when she realized the pounding was actually in her house.
Who was thinking of robbing her?
Oh damn it, why was Danny always right?
Jasmine got off the bed, looking around her bedroom for a weapon. She came up short. Her cell phone was by her computer in the living room. She cursed under her breath and hurried to her closet, searching the corners for anything heavy.
Lucky there was a hockey stick from her high school days in the back. Taking it up, she braced herself and quietly got out of her room. Better to be sure, and then try to find an escape route. The banging was deliberate. Jasmine ran through her list of possessions and wondered what anyone would want her ordinary furniture, and clothes. She owned no expensive jewelry and was paranoid about cash, so never kept it in her house, it was all in the bank.
Walking the short hallway to the living room, she paused at the end of the wall, breathed in and out for courage and peeped into the hallway leading to the front door.
A hot wave of relief flooded her at the sight of Danny and Jimmy kneeling at her front door with tools around them. Stepping out in the open in surprise, she gripped the hockey stick at a loss for words.
“Hey Jazz, what’s with the hockey stick?” Jimmy waved at her.
Danny didn’t stop working, holding a power drill to her door.
“What are you doing to my door?” Jasmine asked. “Who gave you permission to change locks?”
“Jazz, don’t come closer if you don’t want to fight,” Danny warned. “Will you pass me that screw, Jimmy?”
“Jimmy do not give it to him,” Jasmine moved closer, still holding the hockey stick.
“Danny, she’s armed,” Jimmy said, his gaze on Jasmine.
“I know,” Danny said. “Jazz, if you hit me with that, I’ll come back to haunt you.”
“You’re a pain the ass,” Jasmine said.
“So are you,” Danny said, taking the screw from Jimmy and getting on with his work.
Jasmine scowled at his back, and propped the hockey stick on the wall.
“Jimmy, you want a drink? You shouldn’t have to deal with this mess,” Jasmine asked, going into the kitchen.
“Sure,” Jimmy grinned.
“Oh treat him like the saint,” Danny scoffed. “I’m the one doing all the work.”
“No one asked you to,” Jasmine said, coming over to give Jimmy a bottle of juice. She ignored Danny, went to take her phone from her desk and returned to her bedroom.
“She’s pissed,” Jimmy said, an hour later when they finished changing the lock.
“I know,” Danny said, watching the door lock automatically. Shaking the keys at Jimmy, he grinned. “But she’s safe enough. I can deal with the anger.”
“I don’t envy you,” Jimmy said, turning the lock and opening the door. “I’m heading home, see you tomorrow dude.”
“Thanks, man,” Danny said, with a short nod, letting the door close. A satisfied look coming on his face at the sound of the automatic lock engaging. Placing the keys on the a small table right at the door, Danny picked up the hockey stick leaning on the wall and made his way to Jasmine’s room.
Track 13 – There is nothing smooth about relationships…
For the first time since she’d moved into her house, Jasmine discovered she had a doorbell. The ringing started when she was busy typing at her desktop. She kept at her work thinking that someone who would ring her doorbell was not welcome at this time. Ignoring the ring, might encourage them to leave. So, she kept working.
The ringing didn’t stop.
Glancing at Min, her white cat, who was perched on her desk watching her as though in irritation at the noise, she sighed.
“Door’s open,” she called.
She kept typing not wanting to lose her thread. The door opened and in a minute, strong arms pulled her out of her chair and wrapped her in a tight hug.
Staring at Danny’s white t-shirt, she started to talk but he stopped her when he covered her mouth with his, kissing her breathless. She clung to his shoulders as he pulled her flash against him. The kiss was hungry, almost brutal. It ended as abruptly as it started.
“What’s gotten into you?” Jasmine asked, once she could breathe. “Danny—
“I’ve asked you to stop leaving your door unlocked,” Danny cut her off. “Lock it, Jasmine. It’s almost ten o’clock at night. There are psychos in this world.”
“Clearly, if a psycho was after me, a locked door would do nothing to stop him. Will you calm down?” Jasmine stepped away from him, pushing her chair under her desk. She picked up Min and stared at Danny.
He looked frantic. In black jeans and a white t-shirt, he looked deliciously wild, so handsome and annoying.
“Did you come here to yell? Coz, the same way you just walked in, is the way out,” Jasmine said, lifting a brow at him.
“And leave you unprotected, hell no,” Danny snapped. “How can you live alone like this?”
“I’m not in the mood,” Jasmine said, taking Min to lie on the couch. The cat yawned and climbed up on to the arm of the couch promptly falling asleep. Jasmine turned to look at Danny.
“What’s really bothering you?” she asked, folding her arms against her chest. “You couldn’t have driven all the way from your house to come yelling about my door.”
Danny studied her, really taking in the picture she made. She was in warm white sweat pants, fluffy pink bunny socks and a pink bunny t-shirt covered with a heavy white sweater. Reading glasses perched on her nose; she looked too soft and defenseless.
“Cold much?” he asked with a chuckle.
She made a face at him and he smiled.
“I worry about you, living here alone.”
“I’m safe enough. The neighborhood is quiet. The compound secure,” Jasmine said.
“Your neighbors are not my worry,” Danny glared at her. “Your ex-boyfriends are my main concern.”
“Ex-boyfriends…” Jasmine nodded, “and you want to have that talk now?”
“Yes,” Danny said, without a flinch. He pulled out the computer chair, sat on it and swiveled to see what she’d been doing. Jasmine moved faster and put her computer to sleep. Gracing him with a glare, she went to the kitchen.
“Jazz, we’re going to have this talk, sooner or later. Fast forward it all and tell me about Tyler. He’s the one you were most serious with right?”
“Did Terry tell you that?” Jasmine asked.
“No.” Danny swung the chair around to look at her in the kitchen. “I have eyes of my own. You nearly married that bastard.”
Jasmine stared into her fridge, taking his words in. Had it been that obvious? How desperate had she looked clinging to Tyler Anderson?
“Why do you want to know about him?” Jasmine asked, clearing her throat.
“Because of his brother,” Danny said, watching her.
Jasmine closed the fridge without taking anything and turned to look at him, her eyes narrowed.
“What about Adrian?”
“He’s dangerous,” Danny said. “Adrian is a crook, trouble-making, breaking the law, kind of dangerous.”
“How do you know?”
“I just do.”
“Danny, don’t patronize me,” Jasmine said, holding his gaze. “How do you know?”
Danny wanted to escape her gaze, but couldn’t. He owed her the truth, needed her to understand his life, his choices. So, he swallowed the urge to lie and gave in.
“Adrian is in the racing scene. I only found out he was trouble a few weeks ago. I’m trying to get him out of my business and the races.”
Jasmine stood so still for a moment; he thought she hadn’t understood what he was trying to say. He frowned when she suddenly cursed and came to where he sat. Taking his hand, she pulled him up and he followed her.
Puzzled, his frown deepened when she led him to her front door.
“See you, Danny. It’s been great.”
“You’re kidding me,” Danny blinked.
“No. Say hi to Terry for me,” Jasmine said, opening the door and holding it open. The security light in the small porch outside her house spilled into the hallway.
“Jazz, you’re nuts if you think I’m walking away from you without an explanation.”
“I don’t think I have to give you one.”
“Oh yes, you do,” Danny insisted.
“I don’t want to discuss this.”
“We have no choice,” Danny said, raising his voice.
“Okay, tell me, Danny. How straight is your business?” Jasmine asked. “For you to have Adrian, that thug in your life, you can’t be doing good things.”
“Do you think doing business in Nairobi is easy? You have no idea the amount of murk I have had to wade through to get the garage where it is. To build the races to where they’ve reached. Having you stand there, judging me—
Danny broke off, shaking his head, his gaze filled with anger. He paced the length of her doorway, and then wiped a hand down his face.
“What makes you so darned defensive about my racing? Isn’t that the problem?”
Jasmine’s grip on her door tightened and she started to turn away.
“I told you, I don’t want to talk about this.”
“Too bad,” Danny pulled the door out of her hand and slammed it closed. “Stop being scared and tell me—
“Scared?” Jasmine scoffed. “You think I’m scared. Wouldn’t that make me stupid? To be scared for someone who obviously doesn’t need my worry. I’m indifferent, Danny. Even more so, when I know nothing about your racing. Stop this and leave now.”
“What do you mean no? This is my house. I get to say when you leave.”
“We both know you don’t want me to leave,” Danny said. “You care. You pretend not to, but you do. You want to stay indifferent, but you can’t, coz I worry you.”
Jasmine shook her head, hating the fact that he read her too well. She turned to escape to the living room, bu7ft Danny reached for her left wrist and pulled her to the hallway wall. He moved closer until she was leaning against the wall.
“Admit it, Jazz.”
“Danny, I don’t—
“Come on, Jasmine,” Danny cut her off, unable to hide his frustration. He needed to break through the protective wall she had around her. “Tell me, please.”
Jasmine refused to meet his gaze, and instead pressed her forehead on his shoulder. Her heart squeezed tight, the tight knot in her stomach loosening when she took in Danny’s scent. She closed her eyes as her heart gave in. How could she explain that what she feared most was losing him?
“I can’t—,” she started, making Danny sigh in exasperation, so the next sentence burst out of her. “I can’t stand to see you hurt, Danny.”
Danny wrapped his arms around her, in response.
“I don’t breathe easy when I hear you’re racing. I make Terry take me out or drive out some place far away.”
“Why?” Danny asked, when she didn’t answer, he whispered into her ear. “Why Jazz?”
She wrapped her arms around his waist.
I don’t think I could live if you crashed, Danny.”
Danny exhaled and held her tight.
“You must think I’m a nut. Worrying about such useless—
“Your concerns are not useless,” Danny said, leaning back so that she was forced to raise her head. When she looked up at him, he kissed her soundly.
When their kiss ended, Jasmine sighed and stared at his chest.
“Despite your marvelous kisses, I won’t change my mind, Danny. Adrian scares me, Danny. I don’t want to deal with him again. I mean it.”
“What did he do to you?” Danny demanded, gripping her arms. “Tell me, Jazz.”
Jasmine hated to remember the site of Adrian in her house, telling Tyler he could do better. As though she were a worm crawling in the dirt, and Tyler was a thousand heights above her.
She never wanted to meet that bastard again in her life.
Meeting Danny’s gaze, she said, “He did nothing.”
Danny scowled. “I swear if he touched you—
“He didn’t. Let it go, Danny.”
“I can’t. Can’t you see that it’s not possible for me to let this go?” Danny asked, but she moved away and headed back to the living room.
“I don’t want to talk about Adrian. As long as you’re hanging out with him, I’ll stay away,” Jasmine said. She pulled out her chair at her desk and shook her index finger at him. “I was quite happy before you walked in. I was content in my little world. I’d like to get back to that now. So please, leave.”
Danny stood watching her, then because she got him so mad, he turned and stalked out of her house, slamming the door hard behind him. Going to his car, he got in the driver’s seat and sat staring at Jasmine’s house at a loss.
What was he supposed to do with such a stubborn woman?
Turning over the engine, he backed out of her short drive and headed out. Jaw clenched, he made a decision at the first turn on to the main road. He knew exactly what he was going to do.
Protecting your work is most important to a creator. We recently went through this process as we start on actual publishing of real books. It’s both nerve-wrecking and enlightening. Nerve-wrecking in the discovery of limitations: like costs and printing drama, and enlightening in that with every book printed, you discover mistakes and tell yourself, I’m going to get that fixed in the next print. It’s been an interesting time.
So, for copyrights, I thought I should share this process with you. It’s not so hard, you can do it too.
Firstly, you need to have your work fully completed, and ready to go.
Get a registration form from the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO). You can either visit their offices or download the form from their site. Here is the link to that →Copyright Registration Forms
Fill out the forms. To be noted, don’t copyright someone else’s work if you do not have the permissions from the original author (owner of the work). This is very uncool. Just don’t do it. Respect the original author/creator, alright. Of course, if you are copyrighting your own work, write your name with no mistakes. ^_^ You wanna have bragging rights when you get that certification. If you don’t understand the forms, do visit the Kenya Copyright board offices and they are very happy to explain them to you.
Take your completed forms to a lawyer. The wording is “Get the forms commissioned by a commissioner of oaths.’ A lawyer will help you with that.
Attach two original copies of the work to be copyrighted – they prefer it in CD or DVD form. (Yep, that’s right. That means you will have 2 CDs/DVDs. Save it on a CD/DVD and label it.)
Deposit a non-refundable fee of Kshs. 1,000 in the Kenya Copyright Board bank account. The form you get gives you their banking details. They insist on the fee being paid in the bank direct, don’t use bank agents. (Confirm this fee when you get your forms)
Take the bank deposit slip with you to the Kenya Copyright Board offices, and they will issue a receipt.
Certification is issued within five (5) working days from the day of registration. In case there is an exception, they will let you know right away.
And that’s that.
No more excuses saying you can’t copyright your amazing creativity.
Jasmine’s phone buzzed and she smiled when she checked her messenger. Danny was
checking in on her. They had not seen each other for a week since he dropped her food at work. But, he called and replied messages when she wrote them. A little thrill went through her every time her phone buzzed now. She liked it.
“So, this morning on my way to drop off an order, there was this discussion on the radio,” Terry said, as they strolled through the mall. “Apparently, most women fantasize about celebrity women. Who you’d do, the ideal one.”
“I’ve never wanted to be with a woman but if asked, I think I’d go with Angelina Jolie,” Terry declared.
“Coz, she has experience?” Jasmine asked with a chuckle.
“Her badass attitude would totally rub off on me, and come in handy when I pick fights,” Terry said. “She would be cool in a fight.”
“Gal, what are you saying?” Jasmine asked stopping at the Body Splitz shop. “You don’t think I’d have your back in a fight?”
“Of course you do, but you’re all girly looking,” Terry said, giving her a once over, then she laughed when Jasmine smacked her arm.
“I can scratch out eyes with the best of them,” Jasmine declared, strolling down the closest aisle. “What’s with the fantasies? Whose eyes do I need to scratch out?”
“Your man,” Terry said, a grim look on her face. “Danny is interfering with my business. Granted that he has every right, he footed the capital, still…it’s annoying.”
“Who is he trying to save you from?” Jasmine asked, stopping in the body wash section. “Does it have anything to do with the races?”
“Yeah,” Terry said, taking a bottle of lavender body wash and smelling it. She returned it to the shelf. “Jazz, you’re going to have to deal with that part of his life, eventually.”
“I know,” Jasmine said, handing Terry her shopping basket. She picked out a bottle of mint lotion, and smelled it. “His racing scares me, gambling with this life every time he gets behind the wheel. I can’t think about it.”
“Danny is not an idiot,” Terry defended her brother. “He is not careless and knows what he’s doing, Jazz. He doesn’t take unnecessary risks and insists on a clean race. Which is part of the reason my business is an issue now. Danny’s trying to weed out some thug from their circle.”
“Is that why he’s kept away for a week?” Jasmine asked, trying to keep her tone nonchalant. The messaging and phone calls were great, but Danny had not come to see her once.
“Do I sense some frustration?” Terry teased.
Jasmine chose the mint lotion, mint shampoo and body wash, placing them in her shopping basket. She picked out a coconut lotion for Terry and looked at her best friend.
“Maybe,” Jasmine said. “In truth, Danny and me, we’re worlds apart. I’m caught in between wanting to get close and keeping this strange distance we have.”
“Jasmine Lima, don’t try to tell me that you are not missing my brother,” Terry said, heading to checkout. They paid for their respective products and Terry pointed a finger at her as they took their shopping bags. “I know you.”
“Well,” Jasmine sighed. “I’m confused about him, Terry, and that’s the truth.”
“First, not to sound biased, but Danny is a good guy,” Terry said, when they left the store. “Second, I don’t remember the last serious relationship you had. Who was it with?”
“Tyler,” Jasmine answered, hating to remember it. She had loved Tyler. Yes, if she was to really be truthful, she had cared about Tyler enough to want to keep him. “That turned into a mess.”
“Oh that’s right,” Terry said, her eyes darkening. “Shit, Tyler wasn’t straight, Jazz. He messed you up.”
“I cared too much. He—,” Jasmine broke off. “I’m not sure what he wanted. All I know is that he did what his brother said and it didn’t involve keeping me.”
“His brother?” Terry frowned. “I never heard about Tyler’s brother.”
“Yeah, I didn’t want to admit that my boyfriend left me ‘coz his brother didn’t think I was good enough,” Jasmine said with a soft scoff. “It’s humiliating.”
“What is this brother’s name? I’ll see about him,” Terry scowled. “Tell me, Jazz.”
“It’s over and done.”
“I don’t care. What if I date him? Come on, I need to know his name.”
“Fine,” Jasmine said, amused. “But dating my ex would be breaking the bff’s code.”
“Not your ex, his brother,” Terry clarified, making a face. “Will you just tell me the bastard’s name?”
“Adrian Anderson,” Jasmine said. “A pain in the ass is what he is, thinks he is some sort of ruler of the kingdom.”
“Anderson!” Terry gaped. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” Jasmine said, walking out of the mall into the cool evening. “He came over to my house once to get Tyler. It wasn’t pretty.”
“Oh no,” Terry shook her head and got quiet.
Jasmine stopped to look at her.
“What? Is everything alright?” Jasmine asked.
Terry looked at her and smiled, though she seemed preoccupied to Jasmine.
“Yes, everything is fine,” Terry said. “Come on, let’s go have something to eat. I’ll treat you.”
“I feel like eating barbequed chicken,” Jasmine said, wrapping an arm around Terry. “Real juicy and spicy.”
“So specific,” Terry laughed. “I’ll take you to the Passion Fruit.”
“Stop!” Jimmy laughed. “No more kungfu jokes, Danny.”
“Why? You used to love those old movies. What happened to that whole collection?”
“I don’t remember. Lost in the junk in the storage room,” Jimmy said, sipping on his beer. “Where’s Terry?”
“She went out earlier,” Danny said, changing the channel on the big screen to a football game. “Probably getting back about—
Terry slammed into the house and dropped the shopping bags she held on the floor. She stared at Danny, who was reclined on the couch, her expression made him wonder what had her in a tiff now.
“What?” Danny asked, sipping his beer, giving her a wary glance.
“Go to Jasmine,” Terry ordered.
“What’s happened?” Danny asked, sitting up. “Is she hurt? Why—
“No,” Terry said. “But, I think you should be with her.”
“I messaged her a few minutes ago. She said she’s fine, staying in this evening,” Danny said, relaxing.
Terry gave an impatient sigh and moved to sit next to Jimmy.
“Do you care for her, Danny?”
“You know how I feel about her.” Danny frowned. “Terry, I’m trying to find a way to pull Anderson out of our lives. It’s better to go back to Jazz when it’s over. Who knows what he’ll do?”
“Forget it. She used to date Anderson’s little brother, Tyler,” Terry said. “She told me they broke up because Anderson ordered it. He knows her. He knows where she lives. It would be better—
Danny got up, threw the remote on the couch, meeting Jimmy’s gaze. He was out of the house before Terry finished.
Back at his garage, Danny filled out release forms on a Mitsubishi Pajero SUV and handed the keys back to the woman who had brought it in.
“Come again, Mrs. Mueni,” he said, watching her get into the driver’s seat with a wide smile and drive off.
Happy customers, Danny thought. He worked on impressing women like Mrs. Mueni. She had a strong presence in the community, and all the women in her chamas ended up at his garage for service.
Stretching his arms up, to ease tense muscles, Danny turned back to the main floor of the garage and frowned. His gaze moving from one mechanic to another. The garage ran with the help of three major mechanics.
Danny respected all three guys, knew their families, their circumstances. He would hate to imagine one of them was working for Anderson.
Dropping his arms, Danny glanced at the young man to his closest left. His name was Teron Kitonyi. Teron was fresh out of high school. He had a head for mechanics. Problem was, academics gave him hell. Danny had offered him jobs on and off during his last two years of high school. He hadn’t hesitated when Teron came seeking a place at the garage after his final exams. Danny considered the kid an apprentice with a bright future ahead.
Next to Teron, working on rear shock absorbers on a two-seater, was Steven. The man was over forty, had been a mechanic all his life. Steven was a hard worker, didn’t complain, more like he didn’t talk much, but Danny liked the guy. He was dependable.
Danny turned at the sound of the undercoating spray gun coming to life.
Holding it was Karie. The man was a genius with paint and bodywork. Karie loved to get a car looking good again. He was fun to work with, fun to hang with, and a great friend.
Danny sighed, his mood plummeting. This was Anderson’s fault, forcing him to suspect his crew, and turning him into a paranoid fool.
“Danny,” Jimmy called from the garage office, pulling him out of his thoughts.
“What’s up?” Danny asked, entering their main office and closing the door.
Jimmy held out the office phone.
“Anderson for you,” Jimmy said, when Danny took it with a frown.
Bringing the handset to his ear, Danny bit back a curse.
“I hear you’re cutting me out,” Anderson said in greeting.
“From who?” Danny asked, stepping up to the door glass to look out into the main floor. All his mechanics were busy working, none of them looked at him with interest. Still his paranoia grew.
“Your sister is a firecracker,” Anderson said, making Danny close his eyes in exasperation. “She doesn’t beat around the bush.”
Teresa was going to be the end of him.
“Leave my family out of this,” Danny warned. “If you have issues, they are with me. If you want to talk, you know where to find me.”
“Come on Danny. I don’t want trouble either. I just want to know why you want to cut me out of a good thing.”
“Call it protecting my interests. Teresa is a large part of those interests,” Danny said. “Do you have a problem?”
Silence greeted him and for a second, Danny thought the call disconnected.
Then Anderson sighed.
“Good. Let’s end it there,” Danny ended the call and met Jimmy’s gaze. “Get someone to hang out at Terry’s place twenty-four/seven.”
“I can do it,” Jimmy said, a frown creasing his forehead.
“I need you free, and here at the garage,” Danny said. “Maybe we can ask the guys from the dry cleaner next to her shop. You’re buddies with them, right?”
Jimmy nodded. “Good idea. This is getting serious, Danny. We need to deal with Anderson.”
“He hasn’t really done anything, yet,” Danny said, scratching his jaw. “I’m going to meet the Sumani Chicks, Nic Mugera and Mikhail tonight. Maybe one of them will have a plan.”
Danny placed the phone back on the desk and sat on the closest chair. A meeting with the round table meant he wouldn’t get to see Jasmine tonight.
“Do me a favor,” Danny said, looking at Jimmy. “Get Terry to go sleep over Jazz’s house. Just in case.”
“Worried Anderson might try something?” Jimmy asked.
“I know he will,” Danny sighed. “Shit this is going to be a mess. We need to catch that snitch fast.”
“We will,” Jimmy said, his tone hard. “Soon enough, then we can put that good for nothing out of our lives.”