Life on the Fast Track – 17

Track 17 – The Best and the Worst of Moments

Heartbeat electrified, Jasmine followed Terry into the racing grounds Danny owned with Jimmy.  They had to park their car outside the gates because there was no space left inside.  Jasmine glanced at the time on her phone.  Eleven

Spin Me Baby!

o’clock in the night, and it felt like she was walking through a busy street during the day. Danny’s races drew a crowd of spectators.  It was a revelation to discover such a following in Nairobi for the races.

Loud music filled the night, it was lucky the property was removed from any residential areas.  Excitement skated down Jasmine spine, increasing with every step, bringing her deeper into Danny’s world.  Thrilling and frightening at the same time.

Terry took her right hand and squeezed, twining their fingers.

“Don’t be nervous,” Terry soothed, as they weaved their way through a sea of souped-up cars.

Gazes followed their progress.  Jasmine suspected it was because she was a new face in the very tight circle.  Despite the number of people in the place, they all knew each other.  As if on cue, a short man in shiny white leather, who looked like he had married a gym and lived in it day and night, stepped in their way.  His hair dyed blonde, Jasmine thought he would fit right in to a boy band.

“Who you with?” he demanded, his expression forbidding.

“Back off,” Terry said, her tone bored.  “Rick, run back to your master.”

“No strangers allowed, Terry,” Rick insisted, his gaze on Jasmine.

Jasmine started to explain, but then Danny’s arm slid around her waist and she looked up in surprise when he pulled her against him possessively.

“Ricky, are you giving my gal a hard time?  Coz, you know what that means.”  Danny kept his tone low, his stance deceptively calm.  His eyes though spelled doom.  Jasmine hoped Rick saw it too.

Rick’s eyes widened and he took a step back.

“Danny,” Rick said, his tone apologetic.

Danny’s eyes narrowed and Terry sighed when Nic Mugera came to stand beside Rick, placing his arm on Rick’s shoulders.

“Do we have a problem here?” Nic asked, meeting Danny’s gaze.

“”I don’t know, Nic, do we?” Danny asked, his arm still around Jasmine.

She moved closer to Danny and Nic’s gaze shifted to her.  Jasmine found she wasn’t afraid of much standing beside Danny.  She met Nic’s gaze and smiled.

“I don’t think we do,” Nick said, returning her smile.  “Rick, get back to the pit.  Make sure everything is running fine.  Danny, I apologize for my people.  Jasmine Lima, welcome to the fold.”

Danny watched Nic stride away before he pulled Jasmine into his arms.  Wanting to make a point, Danny kissed Jasmine.  She clung to his jacket and gasped when he stopped the kiss as abruptly as he had started.

“Well,” Terry said, smiling.  “You’re in good hands, Jazz.  I’m gonna go mingle.”

Danny kept his gaze focused on Jasmine.

“I’m sorry for that,” he said.

“No need to apologize,” Jasmine murmured.  “I suppose that makes me one of the babes.  I’m not sure how to feel about that.”

“You’re not one of the babes,” Danny said, smiling.  “You’re my woman, Jazz.  My woman.”

“As long as you don’t call me the little woman at home,” Jasmine said, pulling back.  “Now, let’s get this show on the road.  How much money are we winning?”

Danny chuckled.  “Babe, I like how you think.”

Jasmine frowned at him.  “I thought you said I wasn’t one of the babes?”

Danny grinned and lifted his hands up in surrender when she threatened to punch his arm.

“No money tonight,” Danny said, taking her hand and leading her toward his spot.  “We’re racing for a log book.  Nic has a very smooth running Nissan Skyline.  I want it.”

“Nice,” Jasmine said, excited.

“I’ll introduce you to my crew.  By the way, my girlfriend, you get to start the race.”

Jasmine gasped at that.  “What?”

“You look sexy,” Danny said, running his hand over her hip.

She had worn a short leather skirt and a light blouse for the occasion.  Her feet in ankle-length heeled boots.

Danny grinned when she looked like she might stop breathing.

“You’ll love it.”

Yep, he had stolen her heart, she decided when all it did was flip-over in excitement instead of freak out.  He was right about the start.

There was something absolutely exhilarating about standing at the starting point while five supercharged engines growled like beasts, itching for take off.  Jasmine stood between Danny and Nic Mugera’s cars, her hands raised while Jimmy counted down on the sideline.  When he got to one, she dropped her arms and the rush of cars whipping into motion past her let her breathless.

Terry rushed to her side jumping in excitement.  They moved out of the road, to the closest screen to watch the race, documented by strategic cameras placed along the circuit.  The competition was high-powered energy; Jasmine could feel the current on her skin.  Everyone around them vibrated with it, watching with bated breath, she could hardly stay unaffected.

Watching Danny’s car muscle its way along the course was both hard and exciting.  She clung to Terry’s arm when Nic’s car got too close to Danny’s or when the curves they took looked too dangerous.  Danny was a great driver, but the maniacs racing him worried her.  They drove aggressively, and seemed uncaring of safety.  A green car tried to overtake Danny on a narrow part of the road, and for a full two minutes, Jasmine couldn’t breathe.

Danny freed himself from the crazy driver in the green car, edging ahead with Nic behind him in a white car.

Then, when Danny started on the last stretch, a brilliant blue car broke into the race.  Forcing Danny to swerve out of the road to avoid a crash.  The rogue blue car followed him, forcing him into the dirt field in the middle of the racing course.  One moment, Danny seemed in control of his car, and then the blue car tapped his back and sent him into a wild spin.

Jasmine stood frozen, screams filled the night but none of that penetrated.  The race continued on, but Jasmine’s gaze remained on Danny’s car bringing up a pile of dust in the middle of the field.  She started to move, and Terry locked arms around her.

“Let me go,” Jasmine ordered, slapping at Terry’s arms to get free.  She needed to get to Danny, save him, make sure he was okay.

“Let them pass,” Terry said, nodding to the oncoming cars.

A bitter taste filling her mouth, Jasmine stopped long enough to let the four remaining cars pass by the tarmac road, and then ran across, heading straight for the cloud of dust.

“Jazz!” Terry screamed.

She ignored the call, and kept going, wishing she hadn’t chosen to wear heels tonight.

Danny!

Strong arms wrapped around her waist lifting her up.

“You idiot,” Jimmy cursed when she started to struggle.  “Don’t go running into a mess you can’t see.”

Jimmy’s hold around her waist was tight, and for a minute, she didn’t understand what he meant until that rogue blue car emerged out of the dust.  She felt Jimmy brace to push them out of its way.  A scream escaping when the blue car missed them by an inch.

She clung to Jimmy then, her gaze on the blue car driving out of the property in unholy speeds, sending people scurrying out of its way.  The driver clearly in a hurry to get away.  When she could stand without shaking, she pushed off Jimmy and raced toward the settling dust.

Danny’s car stood still in the middle, parked haphazardly.  Heart in her throat, Jasmine raced to the driver’s side in crazed madness.

***

To be continued….Thank you for reading!

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Life on the Fast Track – 16

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

jesse-bowser-255382
Photo by Jesse Bowser on Unsplash

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—

“What’s that?”

“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.”

Jasmine chuckled.

“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.

“I—

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!

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Life on the Fast Track – 15

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.

“No.”

“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.

“Good answer.”

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.

“Uhm…some stuff.”

“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.”

“Danny—

“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.”

***

To be continued…Thanks for Reading! ^_^

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Life on the Fast Track – 14

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 breakfastlarge 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.

***

To be continued….Thanks for reading ^_^

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Life on the Fast Track – 13

Track 13 – There is nothing smooth about relationships…

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Photo by Cody Davis on Unsplash

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.

“Jazz.”

“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.”

“No.”

“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.

***

Thank you for reading…to be continued ^_^

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Life on the Fast Track – 12

12 – I know My Best Friend’s got my Back

Jasmine’s phone buzzed and she smiled when she checked her messenger.  Danny was

william-stitt-224290
Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

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.”

Jasmine laughed.

“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.

“…if you went to Jasmine.”

***

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

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A/N : – If reading for the first time, this is an ongoing serial story.  I will link them all in one tab for easier reading at Track 15.  Enjoy!

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.