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 – 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.