Life on the Fast Track – 10

Track 10 – You showed up when I was having a Hard Day…my heart moved

Terry found Danny making breakfast while he fed the white cat milk.  She paused at the entrance into the kitchen and let out a whistle.

“Well, well, you look quite at home, my dear big brother.”

“Do you want eggs or not?” Danny asked, sparing her a short glance.

“I just had waffles with Jimmy,” Terry said, looking around the neat kitchen.  “Looks like you’re moving in.”

“I wish,” Danny said, placing his eggs on a plate.  Picking up his coffee, he leaned on the counter and studied his flamboyant sister.  Her hair was in a ponytail today.  As usual, she looked beautiful in jeans and a dress top thing that should be illegal.  She was too comfortable in her own skin.

Terry owned a clothing boutique in the city.  She sold clothes and offered personal styling to well-off clients.  Her friendly personality afforded her a long list of happy clients, but her working hours were erratic.  He wished she had a steady schedule.

“Your friend is impossible,” Danny said.  “What’s wrong with the cat?”

“She’s getting shots,” Terry said, stroking Min’s fur.  “Otherwise she’d be popping kittens every three or four months.  I’m glad you two got together.”

“I’m not sure Jazz is happy about it,” Danny said, sipping his coffee.  “Enough about that, aaron-burden-185993I want you to keep away from Adrian Anderson.”

“Oh come on now,” Terry scowled.  “Your big brotherly concerns are so tiresome—

“Anderson’s a thief,” Danny interrupted, spooning eggs into his mouth.  “He’s going to get our business and races in trouble if we keep him around.”

“How do you know this?” Terry asked, staring at her brother.

“Nic Mugera.”

“Nic,” Terry gaped.  “Since when do you take anything he says at face value?”

“Since Anderson became a thief,” Danny answered.  “You realize we don’t need that kind of trouble, right?”

“Aish, Danny,” Terry cursed, moving to find a cup so that she could pour herself coffee.  “Anderson has people in my client list.  I have five orders right now with them.  If I refuse, can you imagine the kind of losses I will make?”

“I’ll find new clients for you,” Danny said.  “Come on Sis, being round Anderson is not an option.  Your safety comes first.”

Terry shook her head.  “How can I wake up one morning and decide to ignore five major clients?”

“Don’t be dramatic,” Danny said.  “Whatever orders you have, fill them, then don’t take anymore from anyone associated with Anderson.”

“Is this an order?” Terry asked.  “It’s not so easily done, you know.”

“You’ll manage,” Danny said.  “I’ll have Jimmy send someone from the garage to keep an eye on you.  I’m serious about this, Terry.”

Terry shook her head.  “I worry about you, Danny.”

“I’m doing just fine.  I’ll be a thousand times better if you do what your big brother tells you.”  Placing his mug of coffee in the sink, he looked around the kitchen.  “So, where’s the carrier for the cat?  I’m not carrying her with my hands.”

“What?” Terry asked in surprise.  When Danny gave her a look, she pointed to a store room tucked into the corner of the kitchen.

“I’ll take the cat to the vet,” Danny said, coming back from the store room holding a black pet carrier.  “You go arrange your business.”

“Today?” Terry asked.

“Yes, today,” Danny scowled at her.  He picked up Min and placed her in the carrier.  “Give me the address to the vets, and go handle your business, Terry.  Sawa?”

Terry sighed, there was no winning with Danny when he got this way.

“Fine.”

***

“You’re late,” Jasmine said, trying to keep her temper calm.  She pressed her cellphone to her ear.  “Do you understand that sets us back a few hours?  Clients wataka mali yao, and we’re making their lives a living hell.  Tell me, how can you help me?”

Jasmine strode out of the building and started walking around to the docking area in the back.  A line of four trucks stood, men in the back of the warehouse offloading the contents in each truck.  She needed one more, and their most demanding client would receive his property in the morning.

“I’m sorry, Madam,” the truck driver on the other end of the call said.  “We’re stuck in traffic.  When we break free, we’ll be there in an hour.”

“I hope so,” Jasmine warned.  “I don’t like lies.  If you think the situation is not going to improve, be straight with me, Banda.  Don’t make it worse.”

She ended the call, and stopped for a moment to take in a deep breath.  This job was killing her today.  Her head was starting to throb.  Glancing at her cellphone, she discovered that it was passed lunch.

Three o’clock already, where did the time go?

Leaning on the wall, she closed her eyes and sighed.  Opening her eyes, a second later, she stared in surprise at the sight of the black Mazda parked a few feet away.  Leaning on the driver’s side door was Danny, watching her.

She couldn’t explain why her heart sped up in joy.  Her mood, instantly, revitalized.  Smiling to herself, she started toward him.  When she was standing a step away from him, she said,

“Hey.”

He looked good in blue jeans and a black t-shirt, she was tempted to kiss his cheek.

“Hey yourself,” Danny said, opening his arms.

She walked right into them without much thought and allowed him to hold her in a tight hug.  He didn’t talk, just held her in silence.  After a moment, she pulled back and studied him.

“Did you miss me?” Jasmine asked.

“Very much,” Danny said, pressing a kiss on her cheek.  “I didn’t like how we left it this morning.”

“Neither did I,” jasmine said, meeting his gaze.  “How has your day been?”

“Hmm…” Danny looked deep in thought, then he winked at her.  “I took your cat to the vet to get her shots.”

“You did,” Jasmine smiled.  “Danny, you surprise me.”

“I know,” Danny said, his gaze on her lips.  “I like surprising you.”

She rested her forehead on his shoulder.

“I gotta go back to work.”

“I know that too,” Danny said, not having missed the trucks unloading in the back of the warehouse.  “Have you eaten?”

“I will, later,” Jasmine said, her phone buzzing.  She pulled away, one glance at the caller’s name and she squeezed his arm.  “I gotta answer this.”

“Alright,” Danny turned and reached into his car.  Pulling out a brown bag from the Passion Restaurant, he handed it to her.  “I also saw my dad today.  He sent me with this.  Make sure you eat it.”

Jasmine stared at the bag in shock.  Apart from Terry, no one ever cared enough to come to see her at work.  No one ever brought her lunch…taking the bag, she smiled and pressed a fist to her mouth.

“Jazz?” Danny asked.

She shook her head.

“Thanks,” she said, pressing a kiss on his jaw.  She answered her phone in the next minute and hurried off.

***

Danny grinned, watching Jasmine hurry away, her heels clicking on the pavement.  It tickled him how freaked out she had been by his bringing her lunch.  His task accomplished, he slid into the driver’s seat and watched her for a moment longer.  Her work annoyed him, he didn’t like to see her stressed.

If he mentioned it though, she’d only ignore him.  Headstrong women, he thought.

Driving off, he smiled at the little he’d done today win her over.  It was a step forward.

***

To be continued….Thanks for reading!

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A/N: In case you’re reading this for the first time, this is an ongoing story, with a few chapters in it.  I’ll work on consolidating in one page very soon, so that it’s easier to find.

Blog Feature – Child of Destiny

This week, The E.i.N blog takes a break from writing, and goes on a Nairobi Fictionspiration Trip.  Sharing stories from fellow writers (bloggers) from my area code (254).

Thursdays, the eve before Friday, like the calm day before the storm.  Of course, our blog feature is anything but Calm.   A. Musawale over at Child of Destiny, loves shaking your life up.  She keeps it real, and pushes your boundaries whether you want it or not.

Her story ‘Rain-check on the Last Dance’ is an awesome take on the best Rihanna/Lupita movie they’ll-never-make-but-we-wish-they-did.

Rain-Check on the Last Dance

Rihanna is walking slowly, smoking a blunt lost in thought. She’s just used up the last of her savings from the last job she had. Since President Trump took over the country it’s been hard for an undocumented immigrant from Haiti to find work. She couldn’t go home. There was nothing there for her. All her family died in the earthquake. She can’t face her own country. If she’s gonna die, she’d rather do it here, in New York.

She hears a sound behind her and looks back, hand on the switchblade she keeps strapped to her thigh. She hears a scream, high pitched, scared but angry too. It’s coming from the other end of the alley and she creeps cautiously forward to peer into the pitch dark.
There is a group of people massed together from what she can see. They seem to be agitated, moving around and struggling.
“Leave me alone you bastards!” a female voice screams from the thick of the group of people and Rihanna can’t help herself. She steps forward. Coming closer, she can see that it’s a group of five men, and one girl.
Three guesses what they’re trying to do to her.
Rihanna fishes out the 9mm she keeps in her bra and points it in the air.
“Leave her alone!” she shouted and let off a shot.
The cowardly men took off, leaving a small shape huddled on the floor. Rihanna stared at her.
“You okay?” she asked taking a step back.
The girl looked up at her with the most luminous big eyes Rihanna had ever seen, “I’m fine.” She said, “Thank you.”
Rihanna reversed direction stepping forward and reaching her hand down, “I’m Rihanna” she said.
“Lupita” the girl replied.
“Pleasure” Rihanna said helping her to her feet.
“Yeah, very glad to meet you as well.”
Eventually the girls exchange stories; Lupita tells Rihanna about getting thrown out of home when her mother walked in on her passionately kissing her best friend…Amanda. Rihanna tells Lupita about stowing away on a red cross boat after the earthquake in Haiti and ending up in New Orleans. How she’d come to New York for a job but once Trump took over, the owner had tried to blackmail her into having sex with him in return for not reporting her to the authorities.
They live together, survive together; coming up with more and more creative ways to make money. As they manage to stop living from hand to mouth, they move up from petty theft, to breaking and entering, to scam artistes. Lupita is a whiz with a computer and Rihanna can talk anyone into anything. They make a fantastic team.
As their hit list gets bigger and bigger and several big shots are affected, a task force is formed to catch them because how dare the poor rob the rich. One of their targets, Anders McCaulicolkin, turns out to be a police plant. He was sent to entrap them.
Rihanna was really excited about this mark because unlike their average idiot, this one was bloody good lookin’. She approaches him at a party, gets his number and they begin the dance of seduction and manipulation. Lupita is inexplicably hostile to this guy. She doesn’t like how much Rihanna is enjoying the job. Rihanna tries to find out what’s bugging her partner but she won’t say. Lupita channels her feelings into finding out more background on Anders and just after rihanna finishes clearing his account out and transferring the money to their holding account in the Caribbean island of Barbados…Lupita discovers that he’s a plant.
She frantically tries to get hold of Rihanna but she’s already left for the rendezvous point. If the money is tagged like Lupita suspects it is, it means one of their accounts is blown, and Rihanna is exposed.
Lupita always stays in the background but she breaks her cover to get to Rihanna before the cops do.
“Lupita this isn’t the plan!” Rihanna tries to exclaim as she follows Lupita at a dead run through the maze of streets she’s leading her through.
“Yeah well…” Lupita said, “If they caught you…”
“If they caught me what Lupita? We would follow the protocol” Rihanna complained.
“I couldn’t let that happen” Lupita breathed as she rounded the corner to the garage which housed one of their cars.
“Why not Lupita?” Rihanna demanded getting in her face, “At least one of us coulda gotten away cle-”
Her words were stopped by Lupita kissing her, very hard. The darker girl moved back.
“I can’t live without you Rihanna. Better to die together than-”
“Rihanna covered her lips with her hand before she could say it, “Don’t even think it” she said her heart pounding, “Let’s go.”
They get in the car and drive. But the police find them and chase them over three states. Eventually they get to Texas and drive with everything they have, heading for the border. The police cut them off. They veer off and find themselves over the canyon with Trump’s border wall dividing the river beneath into Mexico and USA.
Lupita and Rihanna look at each other, breathing hard.
Rihanna reaches for Lupita’s hand. She takes it. Rihanna’s foot bears down on the accelerator as the cops array behind them and they drive off the cliff.
Thoughts:
Ooh, I love me a good Girls gone Wild story.  Survivors with a strong sisterhood, maybe more, and mad gangster attitude, yeah, I would also watch this movie.  Why haven’t they made it yet, again? Chicks before bros! Yeah!
Yeah, It put a smile on my face, that wouldn’t Quit!

Blog Feature – Jagombaka

This week, The E.i.N blog takes a break from writing, and goes on a Nairobi Fictionspiration Trip.  Sharing stories from fellow writers (bloggers) from my area code (254).

Our Blog Feature today is Exciting.  I love this blog, and the look and the feel of it.  Jagomboka, written by Awino Lesley.  And in her own words, she is:

 “I am a simple listener, writing to you the stories from the true Jagombaka. I fear she sees too much, but the stories must be told. They hold our souls together, and therefore, must be told or else…”

Read one of her stories “Watching Wonder” below:

Watching Wonder

A lone female sits in one of the available benches in Nairobi. The day has yet to turn from where it sleeps in preparation for its final dream. She is young, a few months shy of 24, and yet, looking into her eyes, you get the feeling that she has lived more years than you. A large furry coat is all you see keeping her covered, besides the heeled black boots.  What you see of her skin is smooth and chocolate coloured. Her hair is dark, pure and untouched by the unnatural element of cosmetics. You think about going to her, but you stop yourself mid stride. She does not give  any indication that she has noticed your presence.

She looks up to the dark sky as if searching for something. Something you fail to grasp, because you hear her chuckle to herself. There is a look of wonder on her face, pure and unadulterated. Somehow, she has managed to find wonder in the night sky, even as the bright lights of still open bars dull its brilliance. Her gaze remains unbroken even as the colours begin to adjust. As night’s shift ended, it left in its wake a trickle of people milling about in a bid to reach their jobs, businesses, and in some cases, homes.

Her eyes change focus, to the fast and faster moving waters of humanity. She reads them all as they walk past. To them, she is invisible. To her, they seem to be all the same, all running around like headless chicken. From the suits, to the dresses, to the tattered old clothes worn by the still sleeping chokoras. Nothing matters to them save their own little worries, and perhaps the notion that they care for others. But even then, it is rare to find those that truly love, whose hearts understand the magnitude of that emotion.

Every now again, there is a ripple caused, as someone passes by whose heart is true and continues to feel love. She smiles, knowing that there may be hope yet for the future of this species. And then comes one of them for whom she searches. One of them whose very presence alters whomever they pass for the better. He is self assured and, every once in awhile, busts out a small smile as he moves. There is something tangibly positive about him… He is compelling in his own walk, with neither a word nor sound needed. You get the feeling he has the power to do anything he sets his mind to, and he does so often. She turns to you.

“What do you think? Are you the same?”

She pauses.

“I bet you are…you just don’t know it yet.”

She watches him for a few seconds, gets up, stretches and follows him. Two steps in, she disintegrates into flecks of gold dust and becomes a part of him. You sense a subtle change… and you know he has just become the best and most powerful version of himself.

A voice softly whispers in your ear.

“I’ll come to you once you decide you are ready.”

Thoughts:

I love the description of the city in this story.  How intense the masses of people can be walking along those streets.  I see the one on the bench, watching these masses, seeking for one that stands out, one that shines with strength.  What do you see in this story?  Do you think she would see you as being different too? 

Follow this link to read the Birth of Jagombaka as well. 

Follow her on twitter

Follow her blog

Blog Feature – Salummy

This week, The E.i.N blog takes a break from writing, and goes on a Nairobi Fictionspiration Trip.  I will share stories from fellow writers from my area code (254).

Our Blog Feature today belongs to Salummy

The Love Story of the Sun and Moon

Did you know?

Did you hear?

Were you told?

about the love story of the sun and the moon,

and how the sun died each night just to let the moon breathe.

What has he done to prove his love?

or were those endless nights all enough?

talking about a future that he would work on and waking up to booze just like any other time?

Did he prove how much he loved your pretty soul and that never again would he allow you to have your unborns killed?

Did he ever stop you from aborting or even decline to be the father?

What has he offered that we can compare to the sun?

a bouquet of flowers?

a glass of champagne?

or were you just a trophy girl that he used to magnify his earnings?

Did he tell you not to answer Catherine’s call and she is just a secretary?

or did he remind you of the sunset resort where he was busy ogling other ladies in their bikinis?

What does he remind you of?

of endless love or of being a concubine?

I tell you, I will remind you once again

of the story of the sun and the moon.

How the beauty of the moon was the pride of the sun,

and how much the stars shied away each night admiring their love…

***

Thoughts:

This poem reminds me of the song Hijo de La Luna.  Like a folktale, using the moon, this poem draws on the sun and the moon.  Painting a love, that is surely suffocating, as the Sun can only shine when the moon sleeps.  The moon can only shine when the Sun disappears. Such a thought-provoking poem.

***

Salummy is also the author of A Painted Inspiration from the Palm-Fringed Beaches.  A collection of inspiring and life-changing quotes that have been compiled in a style that is simple and compelling.

Buy this book here:

Smashwords

Amazon

Follow her on Instagram.

 

Blog Feature – ELove Poetry

This week, The E.i.N blog takes a break from writing, and goes on a Nairobi Fictionspiration Trip.  I will share stories from fellow writers from my area code (254).

a16-kiss-of-deathTo start off the Monday is Elove Poetry with this scintillating story named: The Assassin’s Diaries: The Kiss of Death.

This is a short excerpt:

In my room I go through the file. It is a dossier of my next target. I read through it. At some point I feel that the target really needs to die. He is the source and part of the problem at the Coast. He is a drug baron, his drugs have made the youth at the Coast vegetables and useless.

Nonetheless, I feel that I should not be a political solution to government problems. The target is the financier of the Mombasa Republican Council, a secessionist movement that has been giving the government sleepless nights. The group uses the drug-addled youths to fight its wars with the government.

Pwani si Kenya! MRC has been claiming.

The extreme violent organization, I read, needs to be neutralized. The government does not want to address the group’s grievances. Killing its leaders is what they think would solve the problem. Really?

The MRC claims that successive governments have marginalized the people of the Coast—no jobs, they don’t get fair share of the national resources, historical land injustices, and a lot more grievances. Because of that, the movement wants to secede from the rest of Kenya, and the government, instead of solving the root cause of the problem, wants to neutralize the group. Is there an end to bloodshed in the world?

Thoughts:

This is a story with a dash of hidden identities, government agents, and corrupt officials. Yes, this Assassin is sanctioned by the government. Definitely read worthy as there is no holding back here, simply written, this story sends the reader into a world of crime and action.

To read more, check out Elove Poetry’s blog

Definitely follow on twitter for news on The Assassin’s Diary stories.

Life on the Fast Track – 9

Track 9 : It’s the small things like trust, honesty…wanting to take care of the cat

An hour later, they sat on Jasmine’s couch, sharing a glass of wine; soft music filled the living room.  Jazz had her feet over Danny’s lap and he was stroking them absently as they talked.

“Your father is really a good man.  I like how he’s dealt with you guys.  Easy-going and encouraging, you don’t find that very much,” Jazz said.

“You never talk about your father,” Danny pointed out gently.  “Why?”

“My Dad and I, we have a difficult relationship,” Jazz sighed.  “He’s a military man.  His ways are set, he likes it when everyone in the family tows the line.  I’m the child that doesn’t follow the path he directs.”

“I’m sure if you talked now, you could settle things,” Danny said, studying her.  She was keeping her gaze down.  It wasn’t hard to see the breach in that relationship hurt her.  “He’s your dad.”

“We had a huge fight the week before I moved out of home,” Jazz said.  “He told me if I left the house, and failed, I would have no choice but to return home and live as he directed, down to marriage.  You know me.  I love a challenge.  I left.  He hasn’t wanted to talk to me since then.”

“Jazz,” Danny brushed a kiss on her cheek.  “It will work out. He’ll come around.”

Jasmine feigned a smile with a small scoff.

“You’re being sweet.  My father is tough.  He’s everything yours is not.”

“Is that why you’re scared to trust me?” Danny asked, holding her gaze.

Jasmine chuckled.

“Really Danny, you think I have Daddy issues?”

“Well,” Danny laughed.

“No,” Jasmine poked his chest and shook her head.  “That’s not why.  I’ve just never been able to be easy on trust with men”

“Hmm…,” Danny said.

“What?”

“I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad about being grouped in with the horde of men you’ve dated.”

“Danny.  I didn’t mean it that way,” Jasmine frowned.  “Besides, I’m pretty sure we should take this, whatever this is, very slowly.”

“Not jumping into it,” Danny stated, “has led us here.  I’m of the opinion we should go all in.”

“Danny—,”

“Jazz,” Danny cut her off.  “I’ve never felt this way about a woman.  You’ve always had this strange hold on me.  Can’t we just go together without thinking too much?”

Jasmine studied him, her gaze thoughtful, her eyes inky black and full of wary shadows.

“If things go wrong, it will definitely hurt more,” Jasmine stated, her tone low.

“Shhh…” Danny pressed a finger over her lips.  “Don’t predict the worst.”

He shifted and pulled her on to his lap.

“Just – enjoy – the – moment,” Danny said, punctuating each word with a kiss.  “The rest, we leave for the future.”

“One step at a time,” Jasmine insisted, pressing her forehead to his.

Danny smiled, holding her closer.

“You’ll get used to having me around, Jasmine Lima.  I’ll make sure of it.”

***

Danny woke up early Monday morning and was once again disappointed to find Jasmine awake and about.  The woman seemed incapable of lazing around in bed.  Pushing a pillow behind his back, he sat up and watched Jasmine pull on a black pencil skirt.  She shimmied it up and reached behind her to zip it.  The material hugged her hips to perfection, made him want to moan in appreciation.  She picked up a lacy blouse, wore it.  As she turned to the vanity table, she noticed that he was awake.

A smile graced her lips, and she came over to his side of the bed.

“Morning,” she said, leaning down to kiss him.

He pulled her down to his lap and kissed her thoroughly, making her catch her breath and her arms lock around his neck.

“Morning,” he answered, when she ended the kiss.

“Did I wake you?” she asked, stroking a finger over his dark stubble.

“No.” Danny studied her swollen lips with an answering smile.  “I wish you had.  I would have loved to wake you up, Jazz.”

“Hmm…” Jasmine smiled.  “I bet you would have.”

“Must you leave?” Danny asked, not willing to give her up yet.

“I have to.  Work calls,” she said, resting her head on his shoulder.  He rubbed her back, holding her tighter.  “I would stay otherwise.”

“I want to have breakfast with you one of these days,” Danny complained.

He breathed in her scent, something flowery, it was intoxicating.  Jasmine pressed a kiss on his shoulder and pulled back.  She stood and returned to the vanity table.  Grabbing ab rush, she ran it through her hair, styling it quickly.  Danny watched her wear her make up, a swift sweep of a brush on her skin, drawing a steady line for eyeliner, followed by a thin coat of red lipstick.  Jasmine picked a pair of hoop earrings from a jewelry box and slipped them on.  Danny watched her study her appearance in the mirror.  She was beautiful, and it fascinated him to watch her see flaws where he saw none.

Jasmine put everything on the table back in its place.  He smiled when she removed the hoops and replaced them with gold teardrop earrings.  Satisfied with her look, Jasmine leaned down and reached for a pair of black heels.

“Terry is passing by to pick up Min.  She’s going to take her to the vet.  Will you be here?”

“Maybe,” Danny said, his tone preoccupied.  Jasmine looked like a conservative administrator now.  It thrilled him to know that underneath that was a wild temptress.  “I could take Min to the vet for you.”

“Why?” Jasmine asked, rummaging through her handbag.

“Because,” Danny said.  “Do I need a reason?”

“I’m just wondering why you’d want to run errands for me,” Jasmine said, giving up on her handbag.  She went to the closet.  “I’m sure Jimmy won’t be happy with me for keeping you away from the garage.”

“Jazz, you’re pissing me off,” Danny said, leaning his head back to stare at the ceiling.  “What’s wrong with being nice to you?”

“Because we’re together now?” Jasmine asked, emerging from her closet with a black jacket that she wore in swift jerks.  “Because we’re sleeping together, help me understand.”

“You know what,” Danny said, glaring at her.  “Go to work.”

“What?” Jasmine asked, a frown dancing on her forehead.  “What have I said now?”

“Nothing.  Go to work,” Danny said.  “I’ll call you later.”

Jasmine studied him for a moment, then picked up her handbag, moved to kiss his jaw before leaving in a cloud of subtle passion fruit perfume.

Danny sighed when he heard the front door slam closed.  He slipped out of the bed and headed for the shower.

***

To be continued….Thanks for reading! ^_^

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Picture Perfect – 16

Chapter 16

Eric wanted Victoria.

She was fun, her sense of humor fresh and surprising.  She had quirky habits that left him laughing in amusement when he was alone.  Like singing out loud to her favorite song came on.  The song wasn’t the problem, he could take a little Justin Bieber…but the off notes, full volume voice were the problem.

You see, Victoria thought she was the next Beyoncé, except no one had told her she wasn’t.  God help him if he said anything in criticism.

Victoria had a temper.

He found that out the hard way.  Visiting her house on a Saturday when she was doing general cleaning, he had gone out to check on her car engine.  When he came back upstairs, he entered still wearing his rubber shoes, into her clean pristine house and a monster was born.

She kicked him out, made him remove his shoes while she cursed like a sailor, almost calling the neighbors to witness his offenses.  He tried to take a picture of monster Victoria in action, and almost got his eyes scratched out when she grabbed the camera out of his hand.  She’d taken a year off his life when she threatened to drop his baby.  Her tirade lasted an astounding five minutes.  Then she got over the mad quickly, turning into a sweet woman who then cooked him lunch.

Scary shit.  He was sure she was a crazy woman!

He definitely loved her sweet side the most though.

Victoria in an agreeable mood was addictive, to the point of madness and obsession.  Her laugh was infectious, when she talked it was with passion on the subject, when she listened, it was as though he were the only man in the world.  Those moments, sitting close to her, kissing her, and never going beyond that…it was at those moments he worried for his sanity.

“Eric.”

Linda touched his left arm and he looked at her.  He was at the studio today working on an advertisement photo shoot.

“Are you up for another trip?” Linda asked.  “We have a request for a shoot in Dar.  Three days, do I schedule it?”

Eric sat back, his gaze on the dummy food waiting on a table.

“When?”

“This weekend,” Linda said.  “The cash is good.  They accepted our quotation without a bargain.”

Eric frowned.  For the first time in years, reluctance to leave the city filled him.  Victoria was tied up more than usual lately.  The holidays were here and the hotel events had increased.  He didn’t want to miss out on her free time.

“Can we postpone it?” he asked.

“Are you sick?” Linda asked, touching his forehead.

He winked at her.  “Let’s do it next weekend, Linda.”

“Why?  Can’t stay away from Victoria?” Linda asked.

“She’s off this weekend.  She promised to go see my house with me.  I don’t want to cancel.”

Linda waved the quotation in front of his eyes and he took it out of her hands.  Reading the total amount, he groaned.  The payout was very good.

“Damn it, I can do it mid-week,” he said, still not willing to give up this weekend.

Eric really wanted to hear what Victoria thought of the house he was building.

Linda smiled and took the quotation.

“Wednesday sounds good.  Victoria can do without you for three days, right?”

Eric smiled standing.  He picked up his camera and walked to the table full of fast food dummy products.

The problem, he thought, was that he didn’t want to do without her.

***

“Wait, taste this,” Olive said

Olive held out a spoon full of strawberry and blueberry ice cream to Victoria.  Victoria closed her eyes as the sweet treat melted in her mouth.  She sighed.

“I’m going to get fat if we continue like this.”  Victoria met Olive’s amused gaze.  “Fat, Olive.”

“I thought you didn’t care.”

“She got a man,” Grace said, swirling her straw in her passion fruit yoghurt.

Aki, Grace,” Victoria pinched her best friend’s arm.  “That’s not what I mean.  I’m saying the ice cream is really good and we keep buying more.”

“Don’t blame the ice cream,” Olive said, promptly taking a healthy bite of her ice cream.

Olive was naturally thin, no matter how much she ate, she never gained an ounce.  Victoria was a tad envious.  Staring at her apple green blend, Victoria just couldn’t find the strength not to finish the treat, so she dug in.

“So, you and Eric?” Olive asked.

Victoria looked up and Olive raised her brow.

“What?”

“Are you an item?” Olive asked.

“They better be,” Grace said.  “He keeps hugging her and kissing her around the hotel.  I’m getting jealous.”

“That was one time,” Victoria said.

“What about yesterday when he dropped you off in the morning.  He gives you a ride to work even when you have your own car,” Grace said.

“It’s called carpooling.  We are doing our part to save the earth from global warming.”

“Ah ha,” Olive said with a laugh.  “I’ll be sure to thank Eric for his eco-friendly thoughts when he shows up at your house.”

Grace laughed.

“Okay, you two, stop.” Victoria raised her spoon, using it as a wand.  “I did not tease you like this when you and Clifford were getting together.  Or you Grace, and the hubby who walks on water.”

“Did you do it yet?” Olive asked.

“I’m not answering that.”

“They haven’t,” Grace answered, winking at Olive.

“Hey,” Victoria punched Grace’s arm lightly.

“Wow, Eric is looking more and more like a saint,” Olive said, amused.  “Hasn’t it been a month?”

“Almost two,” Grace provided.

“No way,” Olive stared at Victoria.  “Is he normal?”

Victoria frowned.  “What are you on about?”

“Well,” Olive shrugged.  “Let’s be realistic.  In this day and age, relationships start out backwards.  You two not being together after two months is weird.”

“Who decided waiting is weird?” Victoria asked.  “Besides, two months is not that long.  Jeez, I’m glad Eric is not like Ronald.  If I had stopped to think with Ronald, things might not have turned out the way they did.”

“I’m just saying,” Olive said.

Victoria stared at her ice cream.  Truthfully, she knew Eric would prefer not to wait.  There were times when she was alone with him, when it felt like it would be alright to give in, but then…

She remembered that he was a man who was still in love with his best friend’s wife.

How could she—

“Vicky,” Grace squeezed her shoulder.  “It’s okay to wait.  You need to be sure, and that’s important to you.”

Taking a bite of her ice cream, Victoria shrugged.

“If it happens, it does,” she said.  “We’re both adults.  I like Eric.  He’s fun, considerate and I love spending time with him.  If it does happen—”

“Let me stop you there,” Olive said, shaking her head.  “That is a self-serving speech.  We don’t need to hear it, gal.  I totally get your insecurities with that hottie.  Eric is a wild card, and who knows how long it will last?  I get it.  No one’s judging here.”

“Could have fooled me,” Victoria sulked.  “Argghh…. can we stop talking about my lack of nookie?”

Grace burst out laughing, and almost spilled her yoghurt.  Victoria reached out to right it, and Olive grabbed napkins to wipe the little that had spilt on the table.

“Excuse me.”

They all looked up at the same time to find Anita the concierge standing a few feet away.  They were in the hotel’s second floor snack bar enjoying ice cream after a long day.  They had chosen the place because of convenience.  Olive was due at the hospital in thirty minutes.  Grace wanted to head out to meet her husband for a shopping spree.

“Yes?” Grace asked, her tone uninviting.

“Can I talk to you, Vicky?” Anita asked.

“You can talk here,” Grace said.

Victoria met Anita’s gaze and nodded.  She had no intention of being anywhere alone with Anita.

“Fine, whatever,” Anita said, taking a step closer to the table.

Thankfully, there were only two other people in the dining space.  It wasn’t rush hour yet.

“What do you want to say?” Victoria asked the younger woman.

“I want you to stop making trouble for me with Ronald.  He said he would fire me because of you.”  Anita’s expression was bitter.  “If you couldn’t make him happy, I don’t see why you have to take it out on me.”

Victoria gaped.

“Aren’t you out of line?” Grace asked.  “Victoria si sister yako, Anita.  You can’t come here to carpet her over a relationship you started on your own.”

“It’s not my fault Ronald chose me over her,” Anita snapped.  “All I’m saying is that she shouldn’t use her position to get me fired.  I have a family to support.”

“Are you implying that I’m trying to get you fired?” Victoria asked in shock.

“Yes.  I know you did this—

“Who told you?” Victoria cut in.

“Ronald,” Anita said.  “He said that my presence here annoys you.  So—,”

Victoria got up, forgetting her ice cream.

Anita froze, her expression full of fear.

Victoria sighed and moved around Grace to stand before the younger woman.

“Don’t worry about your job, Anita.”

“You don’t want me fired?”

“Why would I?” Victoria asked, shocked anyone would think of her this way.

Anita blinked.  “Aren’t you mad about me and Ronald?”

“Goodness, no,” Victoria said, realizing it then, as well.  “Anita, Ronald is a bastard.  If you want him, he is all yours.”

Turning to Grace and Olive, she smiled.  “I have to go upstairs and straighten this.  Call me?”

“Don’t punch him,” Grace said, winking at her.

“I love this hotel,” Olive said.  “You guys have way more drama than we do, and I work in a hospital.”

****

To be continued….Thank you for reading!

Previous Parts:

Picture Perfect – 15

Picture Perfect – 14

Life on the Fast Track – 8

Track 8: The Sands of Time Flow Too Fast when we Talk.

“Jazz, come on,” Danny called.

She cleared her throat and righted her dress.  She hurried out into the hallway to find him holding her black sweater.  He helped her wear it, and made sure it was buttoned before he ushered her out.  The night air was cool.  Danny opened the passenger door for her, and once she was settled, he hurried around to the driver’s side.

“How is your mum?” he asked, once they were on the road.

“She’s okay,” Jasmine said.  “She fusses.  Today she brought my sis and bro along.”

“Jenny and Daryl,” Danny said.  “Is Daryl in high school?”

“Yeah, his last year,” Jasmine answered.  “He’s a good kid.”

“You love them very much,” Danny noted.

“There are times we are at odds, but I’ll always love them,” Jasmine said with a smile.  “Tell me Danny, how did you start on cars?”

Danny chuckled.

“My dad.  He was a grease monkey, loved working on engines.  I used to hang out with him a lot, so the disease passed on.”

“Did your mum approve?” Jasmine asked, turning to study him.

“She was alright with it.  She’d say she was happy we were happy.”

Jasmine smiled at the that thinking of a young Danny with grease all over his face.  Maria Kihome died of cancer when they were in high school.  Jasmine remembered Danny and Terry’s struggle as the doctors tried to save their mother.  When they failed, the grief was so deep, Jasmine had thought the siblings would break.

“I know you miss her a lot,” Jasmine said, softly.  “She’d be proud of you.”

Danny glanced at her for a second, then took her right hand in his left and squeezed.

Jasmine tangled their fingers and stared out the window.

“So where are we going?”

“The Passion Fruit,” Danny said.

“Impressive,” Jasmine said.  The Passion Fruit was a popular restaurant hidden in the lush green hills of Limuru.  Getting a table on a moment’s notice was very difficult.   “How did you get a reservation?”

“I have my ways,” Danny said, getting on the highway headed toward Limuru.  “So tell me, Jazz.  What don’t I know about you?  I want to know everything.”

Laughing, Jasmine looked at him.  “Everything?  Seriously, a girl needs some secrets. So the intrigue remains.”

“Not you, Jazz.  I want to know you, inside and out.”

Smiling at his provocative words, she said, “That could take a while.”

Danny pulled into the restaurant parking lot and parked, turning off the car, he said quietly, “As long as it takes, Jazz.”

Not sure whether to be happy or afraid about that statement, Jasmine watched Danny get out of the car and came around to open her door.  He was really working at this, she mused as he locked the car and they headed into the restaurant.  How was she supposed to resist it?

***

“Action or Epic movies,” Danny asked.

“Action,” Jasmine said.

They sat close together at a very private table, eating peach pie from the same plate.

“Dark-haired Bond or Blonde Bond?””

“Definitely Pierce Brosnan,” Danny answered with a smile.  “Rock music, or rap?”

“Bondo, Punk rock and new age stuff,” Jasmine answered.  “It depends on the mood.”

“Fair enough,” Danny nodded.  “Vacation in Paris or an Island in the Pacific?”

“An Island in the Pacific.  I’m not refined enough for Paris,” Jasmine said with a wide smile, holding Danny’s gaze, she asked.  “What about you?”

Danny studied her lips and said, “Definitely the Island in the Pacific.”

Jasmine nodded and would have kissed him but then—

“Danny boy, you didn’t tell me your date was Jasmine!” Raphael Kihome interrupted, pulling a chair to their table.

Sitting back, surprised, Jasmine stared at the older version of Danny.

“You promised not to interfere,” Danny complained to his father.

“Well, that was before I saw who your date was,” Raphael said with a handsome grin.  “Jasmine, you look beautiful.”

“Thanks, Mr. Kihome.”

“No, if you’re going to be part of the family, call me Baba,” Raphael said.

“Baba,” Danny scowled at his father.

Jasmine blushed.

“Oh quit whining kid,” Raphael waved off Danny.  “Did you like the food, Jazz?”

“Yes.  I didn’t realize you would be here,” Jasmine said.  “So you’re the one who helped Danny.”

“Apart from cars, I love good food, my dear.  This place is my other obsession,” Raphael explained.  “You come here whenever you’re hungry, alright?  You’ll always have a table.”

“Baba, go bother other people,” Danny said.

“Yeah,” Raphael turned a teasing smile on his son.  “I came here to remind you that this is a public place.  My girl deserves more class from you.”

“Baba, Go!” Danny waved Raphael off, making Jasmine laugh hard.  Once Raphael was gone, Danny sighed.  “I’m sorry about that.  He gets friendly.”

“I love it.  Your Dad is charming,” Jasmine said.  “Kind of like you.”

“Like me?” Danny grinned.  “You think I’m charming?”

“Maybe a little,” Jasmine said.

“Let’s get out of here and we can talk about it more,” Danny smiled.

Glancing at the clock on the wall, Jasmine nodded.  It was already ten-thirty.  All that time passed while they discussed topics that had nothing to do with why they were on this date in the first place.  Danny could distract her like nothing else.

“Let me go to the ladies,” Jasmine said.  “Then we can go.”

“Alright,” Danny nodded, watching her take her purse and get up to leave the table.  She winked at him and hurried away, headed for the discreet ladies’ room.

For a moment, Danny appreciated how every man’s gaze followed her in the room.  It was the way she moved, such effortless seduction.

“You may stop undressing her already,” Raphael said beside him.  “I see you finally got the guts to ask her out.”

“Baba, stay out of my life,” Danny said, shaking his head.

“Can’t, you’re stuck with me.  Be good to her, she’s in need of love,” Raphael said.  “The kind you’ve been bottling for her.”

“It’s not easy,” Danny said.  “She’s scared.”

“Most good women are, you just have to know the right time to make it permanent,” Raphael advised.  “Don’t hurt her though.”

“I’m not going to screw this up.”

“It would be a shame.  You’ve been wanting her so long,” Raphael said, squeezing his son’s shoulder, he moved on to the next table.

Jazz returned and Danny smiled as she reached him.

“Ready?”

“Yes,” she said, looking around the dining room for Raphael, she said, “Just a moment.”

Danny watched as she hurried to his father.  Smiling, Jasmine hugged Raphael.

“It was nice seeing you tonight.”

“You too, Jazz.” Raphael stroked her cheek.  “Make him take care of you, and if he doesn’t, tell me.”

Jazz chuckled.  “I will.”

Danny gave his father a nod, and then quickly led Jazz out into the night.

***

To be continued….Thanks for reading!

←Previous Track

a/n :

Baba – Literally means Father in swahili.  When I first wrote this, I had met cousins who called their dad, ‘Baba’, instead of Dad, or Daddy like the rest of us. I thought that was extremely cool, so I had Danny call his father ‘Baba’, as Raphael is so laid back and passionate about life.

Life on the Fast Track – 7

Track 7: Mama Yells, Best Friend Shocks, and the First Date

“Hi Mum,” Jasmine said, holding the door open for Wanja.

“Don’t ‘hi mum’ me when you have explaining to do,” Wanja stated. “I’ve been worried about you.  Not coming to dinner, not calling me, kwa nini unajificha?What’s going on with you?  (Why are you hiding?)

Jasmine sighed at the expected tirade, watching her mother head straight to the kitchen.

“Nothing is going on,” Jasmine said.

Her sister, Jenny, and her brother, Daryl, came in each holding shopping bags.  They both paused to hug Jasmine before they followed their mother.

“You’re in trouble,” Jenny teased as Jasmine closed the door.

“I’m not,” Jasmine said, following them.  “How was church?”

“The usual,” Daryl said, sliding onto the kitchen counter.

Jasmine smiled at his appearance.  In a white and black t-shirt, baggy jeans and new kicks, he was the picture of cool teenager.  Her brother was into machinery and electronics, talked a mile a minute, and could make the saddest human laugh.

“I’m hungry,” he whined.

Jasmine grinned and added appetite to fit an elephant to the list.  She moved to give him a bowl of banana crisps she’d left on the counter.

“You’re looking cute, Jenny,” Jasmine commented, smiling at her younger sister.

Jenny was the brains of the family.  She was twenty-two and currently doing an internship at a prestigious accounting firm in Westlands.  She was the cool-headed one in the family, always so organized.

“I bought this whole outfit for less than five thousand shillings,” Jenny answered, rubbing down invisible wrinkles on her skirt.  “Makes me look great, doesn’t it?”

Jasmine smiled and nodded.

“How about you tell me what really happened on Friday, Jazz,” Wanja said.

Her mother was busy putting away the groceries she’d brought with her.  Jasmine hadn’t missed that her mother had inspected her refrigerator and sighed with exasperation.

“I had to fix issues at work and came out late,” Jasmine lied.  “I apologized already.  How come you came here so early?”

“Early?  It’s ten-thirty, the sun is shining outside,” Jenny said, pouring herself a glass of juice.  “Mom insisted we check on you after church.  You haven’t come home to visit in three weeks.”

“I’m sorry,” Jasmine sighed.

“Some apology,” Wanja teased.  “I’m glad you’re alright.  It looks like you haven’t eaten breakfast.  Nipike fried eggs?”

“I agree with this decision,” Daryl nodded, still eating the banana chips.  “Jazz, have you seen the new racing movie?”

“No, but I’m sure you’ll tell me all about it,” Jazz said.

Thoughts of a strange night disappeared as her family surrounded her.  It suddenly didn’t matter that she was panicking about sleeping with Danny.  She had always known she had a weakness for him.  Danny could make her do anything.  Jasmine sighed and wondered what they would talk about at dinner tonight.

***

“You finally did it,” Jimmy exclaimed.  “I’m impressed.”

“Keep it down,” Danny scowled at him, while his best friend laughed.  “It’s not like we’ve worked things through yet.  I’m taking her out to dinner tonight.  Some place fancy.”

“Take her to The Passion Fruit,” Jimmy said, reaching for his cell phone.  “I’ll make the reservations.  Seven-thirty okay?”

Danny blew out nervous energy.  “I’m nervous.”

“As you should be.  Jasmine is no quick game, Danny,” Jimmy said, then spoiled it when he added, “She’s hot.”

“Respect, Dude!  She’s my woman now,” Danny said, with a fierce frown.

“Apparently,” Jimmy nodded with approval.  “Speaking of which, I hope you don’t mind.  Terry and I, we hooked up.”

“For how long?” Danny asked, knowing his best friend was a player.  “You’re not going to dump her in two days for another chick.”

“You know I respect your sister, man,” Jimmy said.  “In fact, you should be worried about me.  Terry is tougher than Jazz, you know.  Birds of a feather, and all that—

“Still,” Danny said, closing the distance between them.  He gave Jimmy a hard glare.  “You know, I’ll get on you if you hurt her.”

“I know,” Jimmy said.  “Are we cool?”

Danny studied him, then knowing Terry’s decisions were her own, he sighed and stepped back, lifting his hands up.

Jimmy cleared his throat and wiped sweat off his forehead with a kerchief in his back pocket.

“Now that we’re cool, I gotta tell you about Anderson.  Nic Mugera decided to check up on him first.  Said he didn’t like the look of the man.  He says Anderson is trouble.”

Danny sighed in disappointment.  He didn’t need this kind of trouble right now.

“Call a meeting,” Danny said.

“I agree with that, but today is Sunday.  Everyone is busy.  Besides, Nic thinks Anderson has people in all our camps, including our garage,” Jimmy said.  “That way, Anderson always knows when our races are, and how much they cost.”

“I need to think about this,” Danny said, shaking his head.  “The smart thing is to lay low for a while, no more races.  ”

“I’ll call the meeting this week, only the four heads,” Jimmy said.

“Meanwhile, find out all you can about the mechanics in our garage,” Danny scowled.  “Especially the new people.  No one is exempt. Our business is clean, I don’t want parasites invading.”

“You got it.”

****

Jasmine changed her dress four times; her shoes five times, and fussed with her hairstyle much longer than usual.  Taking in a deep breath, she closed her eyes and breathed out.  When she opened her eyes again, she stared at the woman in the floor length mirror.  She’d chosen black.  Her dress hugged her figure to perfection, stopping just above her knee.  It had long sleeves and a very low neckline, risqué but she loved the danger of it.  Studying her face, she reached for a stick of lip-gloss and pursed her lips.  Her makeup was natural tonight: emphasizing her eyes, she wore a light pink lipstick to soften her look.  Her skin looked clear, overall, not bad, she decided.

Now, if she would stop being so nervous.

The doorbell rang while she was in the kitchen warming food for Min.

“Come in, door’s open,” she called out, punching numbers on the microwave.

A few minutes later, Danny stood at the kitchen entrance.

“This habit you have of leaving your door open, Jazz,” he complained.  “We need to talk about it.”

Jasmine who had bent down to place Min’s food on the floor, straightened.

“I knew it was you,” she said, hands on her hips.  “I’m not expecting anyone else.”

Danny seemed to forget his argument, as he stood staring at her.

“Wow,” he managed.

Jasmine felt fluttered by his reaction.  Stunned had been her target, but absolute amazement worked too.

“Hi,” he said, meeting her gaze after a slow perusal of her body.

Jasmine smiled, and shook her head.

“Hi,” she said, returning the inspection.

Danny looked great.  He’d ditched the leather today and was in a black suit, black shirt open at the collar and black loafers.  She was glad he had not put on a tie.  Danny cleaned up nice.

Min meowed, and Jasmine looked at her.  She’d forgotten milk.  Pushing the microwave door open, she got the bowl of milk and placed it down carefully.

“I have to feed her now.  I might forget later,” Jasmine explained.

“Come here,” Danny held out his hand.

She took his hand, moving into his arms without protest.  His arms were so strong around her, she felt…safe.

“I missed you,” he murmured.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, and pressed closer into him.  The chemistry between them was undeniable.  She truly wanted him, always had.  Meeting his gaze, she smiled.

“I missed you too.”

Danny pulled her into a consuming kiss.  Her scent filling his nostrils, clearing his head of any thoughts, all he could do was feel her in his arms.

He sucked on her lip and murmured, “Let’s scratch dinner.”

Jasmine moaned, when he kissed her again. “We can’t.  We…mmm…we have to talk.”

“Talk later,” Danny said, lifting her up so that she wrapped her legs around him and turned to press her against the wall.  “I need you, Jazz.”

His kisses were intoxicating, his lips tracing down her neck, and she clung to him, wanting to give in.  Jasmine gasped when he nipped on a sensitive spot.

“Danny.”  She sunk her fingers into his shoulders, pushing him back.  “We should try sitting through dinner first.  Just to get through one without shouting at each other.  Please?”

Danny sighed then, pressing his forehead into her shoulder.  He took in a deep breath and allowed her feet to slide to the floor, making sure she felt every inch of him.

“This better be really good food,” he whispered into her ear, once he was under control.  Opening his eyes, he pressed a kiss to her neck.  “Where’s your sweater?”

“On the armchair,” she said, as he pulled away.

Jasmine leaned on the wall to steady herself.  She took in a deep breath, her heartbeat too fast.

****

To be continued….Thank you for reading ^_^

←Previous Track

Life on the Fast Track – 6

Track 6 : Family comes knocking the morning after

Sunrays danced into the quiet bedroom through a crack in the heavy curtains.  They made glittering shapes on the queen-size bed where rumpled covers fell to the floor.  The white floral sheet half covered the two figures deep asleep on the bed.  A car passed on the street and Danny opened his eyes, his sight blurred at first before it cleared and fell on the woman lying beside him.

Jasmine.  She slept with a hand tucked under her cheek.  Her lashes long, her lips slightly parted, she breathed in and out in gentle motions, her slender body curled toward him.

He had known it would be good between them.  Really good.  Now all he needed to do was convince her they were right for each other.  A much tougher task, he thought with a sigh.  When she wrinkled her nose and curled into the pillow, he grinned.  Watching her now, she reminded him of a kitten, so cute and vulnerable.

He couldn’t explain it.  The woman had crawled into his bones and taken over, it seemed his heart had always been hers.

Her phone buzzed and he frowned when she turned sleepily, reaching a hand out to the grab the cell phone on the bedside table.  The motion was so natural he wondered who dared call her so early.

“Hello,” Jasmine said, her voice heavy with sleep.  Her hair was mussed, the curve of her neck enticing, Danny felt compelled to drop kisses on the soft skin.

He moved to do exactly that, but then she sat up in a panic.

“What?  Now?  Why?” The answers had her kicking away the sheet and she ended the call with a gasp.  “Oh God.  Get up, Danny.  Please get dressed.  We have to get you out here.”

“Why?” Danny frowned, watching her grab a robe from a couch in the corner and slip it on, hiding her beautiful body from him.

“Stop lazing around,” Jasmine said, moving to pick up his trousers and throwing them at him.  “My mother is on her way.”

“Is this normal for you?  Coz it’s not for me,” Danny said, sliding out of bed.  He ignored the trousers and reached for her instead.  Pulling her into his arms, he kissed her.

“Good morning,” he said, when he was done kissing her.

Shaking her head, as though to clear a daze, Jasmine pushed her hair back.

“Don’t distract me.  Will you dress?”

Jasmine pulled away from him and rushed to her closet.  Feeling put upon, Danny picked up his trousers, wearing them with a sigh.

“You’re hard on a guy, Jazz.  At least be apologetic about this.”

“I am,” Jasmine said, her voice muffled in the closet.  “We can talk about it later too.  Right now,” she appeared at the closet doors in a pair of jeans and a white dress top.  She was running fingers through her hair when he pulled her into his arms again.

“Danny,” she moaned, melting into him.

“You can’t blame me,” Danny said, nibbling at the sensitive spot on her neck.  “You’re delicious.”

“I haven’t showered,” Jasmine said, laughing.  “You’re going to get more than you bargained for if you keep this up.”

Danny kissed her cheek.

“I wish you could calm down and stop being so frantic.  It’s just your mom.  I want to meet her.”

“Oh no,” Jasmine said, pulling away.  “Danny, you don’t know my mother.  Right now, she’s coming because I didn’t show up for dinner Friday night.”

Bending down, she picked up his shirt from the floor and pressed it to his chest.

“Please dress, please.”

“Kiss me,” Danny bargained, liking how hard she was imploring him.

Jasmine leaned up on her toes and kissed him sweetly.

“Now dress, I gotta get the house ready for her.”

Danny watched as she rushed out of her bedroom.  Shaking his head, he wore his shirt and went on a search for his socks.  He found both in the living room where Jasmine was picking up her clothes from the night before.  Danny sat on the couch they’d spent half the night on.

“I’ll never forget this couch,” Danny said, sneaking a glance at her.

Jasmine’s answer was to rush back to her bedroom.  It was obvious, they still had a lot unsaid between them.

She came back wearing a sweater and leaned on the wall closest to the front door.

“Can we talk later?” she asked.

Danny finished wearing his socks and stood, looking at her, noting her guarded gaze.

“Over dinner tonight?” he asked.

She opened her mouth to protest, but he stopped her, placing a finger over her lips.

“I’ll pick you up at seven sharp.  Dress up.  I’m not taking no for an answer.”

Jasmine stared at him, as he picked up his car keys from a small table next to her and smiled.

“Have a good day, Jazz.”

With that, Danny was out the door and she was left staring at the closed door.

Minutes later, her mother pulled into the small driveway and Jasmine sighed.

“So close,” she murmured, opening the door, nerves racing through her.

***

To be continued….Thank you for reading!

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