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.
To be continued….Thank you for Reading!